Tods Murray report strong profit growth

by Mark Williamson
© The Herald
Originally published: 10.01.2008
Tods Murray, one of the country's leading law firms, recorded a second successive year of strong growth in profits in the year to March, helped by boom conditions in markets like property before the credit crunch took hold.

Accounts for the firm, filed at Companies House, show Tods Murray increased profits available for distribution by 10% to 8.7m, paving the way for a big rise in average pay-outs to partners. These have been called members since Tods Murray converted to limited liability partnership status in 2004, to protect the personal assets of non-negligent partners in the event of a damages claim against the firm.

Allowing for promotions and departures, there was an average of 44 members in the latest year, compared with 43 in the previous period.

The average remuneration per member increased from 184,616 to 197,873. The highest-paid member, assumed to be executive partner Peter Misselbrook, received 237,746, down from 243,773 in the previous year.

While Tods Murray has so far refused to follow the lead of Scotland's biggest law firms by opening an office in London, the latest growth in profits followed some notable successes on the UK stage. The company advised on the 553m University Hospital Birmingham PFI project, one of the largest such schemes in the UK.

The latest Chambers guide to the legal profession highlighted Tods Murray's work advising on securitisation and asset-backed finance. But given the challenging conditions prevailing in the financial and property markets since the summer, the firm's exposure to those areas could make it hard to maintain growth in profits in the current year.

On the prospects for the current year, Misselbrook said: "It's difficult to predict our end of year outcome."