Burness Paull staff to receive bonus after firm records £36m profits

Burness Paull staff to receive bonus after firm records £36m profits

Peter Lawson, chair of Burness Paull

Burness Paull has announced an all-staff bonus of either five per cent of salary or £2,500 — whichever is higher — after recording a seven per cent increase in profit to £35.7 million in the year ended 31 July.

The independent law firm announced the special bonus, which is in addition to performance-related bonuses, as it revealed its turnover rose by nine per cent to £78.6 million in the 2021/22 financial year.

The firm has also made five new partner appointments: Edward Hunter in corporate finance, Allana Sweeney in restructuring and insolvency, Sophia Harrison in dispute resolution, Andrew Little in construction and projects, and Kirsty Morley in English real estate.

The five new partners are among 58 promotions – including six directors, 11 senior associates, 17 associates, and 19 senior solicitors – across Burness Paull’s practice areas and offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeen.

The firm’s partner ranks have also been bolstered by the addition of eight lateral hires, including two of Scotland’s leading practitioners as part of a strategic move into family law, during the last financial year. The number of partners at the firm now stands at 86.

Over the course of the year, the biggest contributors to the firm’s revenue were corporate finance, real estate, banking, funds, dispute resolution and employment. This was supplemented by strong growth in areas such as technology, restructuring and insolvency, tax and public law.

Notable activity included advising Incremental Group on its acquisition by Telefónica Tech in a transaction worth up to £175 million; acting for STV during the divestment of its external lottery management business, which manages The Scottish Children’s Lottery; advising Scandinavian residential real estate company Heimstaden Bostad on its entry to the Scottish market through a £125 million forward funding deal for a 464-home build-to-rent project in Edinburgh; supporting client engagement with ScotWind and the wider energy transition; and repeat instructions from major technology clients such as Amazon Web Services, Comcast, ITN, Sky, Bolt and Cazoo.

Peter Lawson, chair of Burness Paull, commented: “This is a strong set of results, particularly in the face of economic headwinds arising from global inflation and the conflict in Ukraine during the second half of our reporting period.

“It’s a challenging environment for the entire business community and our investment in talent is all about our capacity to add value where it matters most. Technology, ESG, financial regulation, immigration and public law are all examples of where the regulatory and risk burden on our clients is increasing, and where we are providing increased levels of advice.”

Mr Lawson added: “Our performance is testament to the level of expertise and dedication right across the firm, and we have continued to strengthen the team with a number of well-deserved promotions and lateral hires in key practice areas where we see scope for further growth.

“Attracting, developing and retaining the right people is key to our ability to service clients. We want to make sure our people are well remunerated for the work they do, which is why the all-staff bonus is important. However, it’s also about building on our strong human and high-performing culture and ensuring that we are a diverse, purposeful organisation.

“It’s for that reason that we place so much value on our accreditation as a menopause-friendly employer, the ESG initiatives we have implemented this year, and the work we continue to do through the Burness Paull Foundation.

“Our strategy and the results of the last few years put the firm in a strong position, and we look forward with optimism and a readiness to support our clients to navigate the changing economic and business landscape.”

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