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Top lawyer says North Sea supply chain has yet to see a ‘fallout’

Large revenues for North Sea oil and gas producers thanks to high oil prices have yet to “ripple through” much of the supply chain, a prominent Aberdeen lawyer has said.

Bob Ruddiman added: “It doesn’t happen immediately. It takes time in a market where supply is tight and commodity prices are high. »

The energy manager of Aberdeen-based Burness Paull was speaking after the law firm announced its own significant increases in profit and revenue.

Staff bonuses worth at least £2,500

Staff across the firm are taking in annual bonuses worth 5% of their salary or £2,500, whichever is greater, after a 7% rise in profits to £35.7million.

Revenue rose 9% to £78.6m in the year to July 31, with Burness Paull citing strengths in corporate finance, property, banking, funds, dispute resolution and employment as the main drivers.

“This has been complemented by strong growth in areas such as technology, restructuring and insolvency, tax and public law,” a firm spokesperson added.

This is a strong set of results, especially in the face of economic headwinds from global inflation and the conflict in Ukraine during the second half of our reporting period.

Peter Lawson, President, Burness Paull.

Burness Paull employs 600 people, including 86 partners, in its offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow.

Around 100 employees currently work in the offices at Union Plaza, Aberdeen.

Mr Ruddiman said the company’s overall financial performance and activity levels are reflected in the Granite City operation in 2021-22.

Energy restart

He added: “Before COP26, everyone thought there was plenty of energy.

“But the horror of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has made us rethink energy security.”

This restart creates new opportunities which means extra work for Burness Paull’s Aberdeen side.

The war in Ukraine has changed the global energy debate.

Activity levels in the North East office were boosted by renewable energy, infrastructure, real estate and urban regeneration projects, as well as work related to exploration and production in the North Sea and energy services, Ruddiman said.

He added: “We believe we are well positioned for growth, even with headwinds.”

Environment, social and governance has been an “important part of everything we have done” over the past year,” he said.

Cybersecurity concerns were also significant, with several energy sector customers affected.

The horror of the Russian invasion of Ukraine has made us rethink energy security.

Bob Ruddiman, Energy Manager, Burness Paull.

Activities labeled as “noteworthy” by the company in its 2021-22 review include its supporting customers in the ScotWind offshore wind rental cycle and broader energy transition.

Burness Paull also pointed to repeated instructions from major technology customers such as Amazon Web Services, Comcast, ITN, Sky, Bolt and Cazoo.

The firm’s partner ranks have been bolstered by the addition of eight side hires, including ‘two of Scotland’s leading practitioners’ – Richard Smith and
Jennifer Wilkie, both recruited from Brodies – as part of a strategic transition into family law over the past business year.

Five other partners have been appointed since the end of the year. They are part of the 58 promotions, including six administrators, 11 senior partners, 17 associates and 19 senior solicitors.

Burness Paull Chairman Peter Lawson said: “This is a solid set of results, particularly in the face of the economic headwinds resulting from global inflation and the conflict in Ukraine during the second half of our reference period.

“Technology, ESG (environmental, social and corporate governance), financial regulation, immigration and public law are all examples of where regulatory burden and risk for our clients is increasing, and where we provide increased levels of advice.”

Burness Paull President Peter Lawson.

He added: “Our performance is a testament to the level of expertise and dedication across the company, and we have continued to strengthen the team with a number of well-deserved promotions and lateral hires in areas practice areas where we see opportunities for growth. .

“Attracting, developing and retaining the right people is key to our ability to serve our customers. We want to make sure that our employees are well compensated for the work they do, which is why the bonus for all staff is important. »

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