LAW firm Shepherd & Wedderburn (S&W) has regained the ground it lost in the 2016/17 financial year by posting a six per cent rise in revenues for the 12 months to the end of April.

Having seen the figure drop by 5% from £53 million to £50.5m last year, the firm posted a rise to £53.5m in its most recent reporting period.

The uplift came with a 12% increase in partner profits to £22m, which is the highest profit figure ever posted by the firm, which is this year celebrating its 250th anniversary.

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In recognition of the 2017/18 results S&W is paying staff a bonus equal to 4% of salary, while it is marking its 250th year by giving all employees an extra day’s holiday.

Chief executive Stephen Gibb said the firm had benefitted over the year from the fall in sterling after the Brexit vote, with Scotland “the second most attractive target for UK inward investment outside London and the south-east of England”.

“Despite uncertainty over the outcome of Brexit negotiations and global macroeconomic trends, our UK and overseas clients have continued to be active, particularly in sectors in which we have market-leading expertise such as clean energy, real estate, construction, food and drink, technology and regulation,” Mr Gibb added.

The rises put S&W back on a growth trajectory after the firm suffered in the wake of the financial crash.

Having posted turnover of £42.1m in the 2007/08 year, S&W did not break the £40m barrier again until 2014/15, when the figure jumped by 25% from £38.3m to £48.1m.

While it retains a 60-person office in London, S&W has refocused on its Scottish roots in recent years, with Mr Gibb saying earlier this year that it now views its London presence as a “USP” rather than a key driver of the firm.

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The shift in focus has seen S&W move back into Aberdeen after initially closing in 2011 an office that it had launched in the city in the mid-2000s.

Two years ago it began rebuilding that practice with the hire of corporate partner John Rutherford from Pinsent Masons and shipping partner Charles Scott from Mackinnons.

It followed this up at the end of 2016 with the acquisition of local firm The Commercial Law Practice, taking its headcount in the city from two to 16 in the process.

Since then it has continued to bulk up in Aberdeen, adding rural law partner Hamish Lean and two junior lawyers from local firm Stronachs just over a year ago.

More recently the firm has added Jacqueline Moore to its Edinburgh office as head of immigration and corporate partner Philip Sewell to its London office. They joined S&W from Drummond Miller and Maclay Murray & Spens (now Dentons) respectively.

Looking ahead, Mr Gibb said the firm has commissioned a piece of research from the Fraser of Allander Institute aimed at “helping Scottish businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs best position themselves for the years ahead”.

“We will use fresh insights drawn from economic data and long-term global growth forecasts to inform a conversation with our clients and key industry contacts, which will help identify how they – and Scotland – can mitigate the challenges and seize the opportunities against the backdrop of a rapidly-evolving global economy,” Mr Gibb explained.