Accessibility Links

Skills shortages within the profession remain a concern

Posted by: Laurence Simons 25/09/14

A Scottish law firm has reported having a very successful year - but has expressed deep concerns about the future. Ledingham Chalmers, which has offices in Edinburgh, Aberdeen, Stirling and Inverness, has reported a 15 per cent rise in turnover to £12.4 million in the year to the end of March 2014. It carried out more business in the fields of corporate, litigation, private client and rural practice. 

These figures included the results of the firm's subsidiary, Golden Square Wealth Management.

The company has also added to its payroll by taking on five new partners, with this and profit-related pay increasing running costs by £500,000 to £7.7 million.

Overall, this amounted to a "strong year", said chairman Jennifer Young. However, she warned, there are clouds on the horizon.

"Skills shortages within the profession remain a concern, particularly with the opportunities that are open to the next generation of lawyers to diversify within the private sector.

"This is not new in the Aberdeen market, but is perhaps more acute at the present time, as the demand for talent grows."

However, that increase in demand for skills may provide a number of opportunities for lawyers who are happy to relocate to the north-east of Scotland.

Ms Young noted that the city appears to be offering particularly good prospects for further growth, commenting: "It is our view that corporate, litigation and private client services will continue to grow throughout 2014 and into 2015. In Aberdeen particularly, the commercial market is showing no signs of slowing."

The Aberdeen market may go on being one of the most healthy in Scotland, as the city is the wealthiest due to its links with the oil industry.

Indeed, Aberdeen joined the ranks of oil cities to have had a good recession by growing its wealth during the downturn, the only major city in the UK to do so, according to accountants Hacker Young.

This means it is not dealing with the same financial and economic legacies that other centres of population have had to cope with in recent years.