EDINBURGH law firm Morton Fraser had a muted year in 2016/17, with turnover nudging up by 2.5 per cent to £20 million and profits remaining unchanged at £7m.

Chief executive Chris Harte said the firm felt this was a “credible performance in the circumstances”.

“No business should have any feeling of entitlement to growth and if you look at what’s happening in the economy generally and the Scottish economy in particular, some people may say [the firm’s figures are] flat but I would say they are stable.”

While the firm’s financial year, which runs to the end of April, took in the period surrounding last year’s Brexit vote, Mr Harte said that did not have too much bearing on the results.

“There was an impact on transactions for about six to eight weeks when things stopped, there’s no doubt about it,” he said.

“What was encouraging was that it got going again and things have been pretty busy since the end of summer last year and remain so now.”

Despite this, Mr Harte said that the firm is having to work harder than ever before to generate the same amount of turnover from existing clients, with the companies it serves getting ever-more savvy in the way they procure legal services.

“The reality is that there’s not a huge amount of annuity business that firms are benefiting from,” he said. “Clients are much more mobile and dynamic so we have to replenish turnover, not just keep nudging it up.”

As a result the firm has spent the last two years implementing a new IT system aimed at driving greater efficiencies in the way it both handles cases and deals with client billing and accounting.

Despite the flat profit figure Morton Fraser is paying all staff a bonus for the year equal to 11 per cent of their individual salaries.