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Addleshaws chosen as Celesio’s preferred adviser in Scotland as HBJ merger goes live

Top 20 firm Addleshaw Goddard has finally secured a long-awaited Scottish presence as the firm’s merger with HBJ Gateley goes live today (1 June).

The tie-up, which will integrate HBJ’s entire Scottish office into Addleshaws, has already resulted in new mandates for the firm. Addleshaws will be appointed as pharmaceutical company Celesio’s preferred law firm on all Scottish real estate matters, according to a statement.

Addleshaws also expects to grow in a number of industry sectors, particularly real estate, financial services and energy.

Following last year’s failed merger talks with Scottish Independent Maclay Murray & Spens, Addleshaws and HBJ first confirmed plans to merge back in November.  It is expected that the combined firm will have a turnover of £224m, with £214m in UK revenue and more than 240 partners.

Four HBJ Gateley partners have also joined the executive team heading Addleshaws’ four operating divisions: David Kirchin (corporate), Alan Shanks (finance), Simon Catto (litigation) and Miles Ede (real estate).

John Joyce, Addleshaws managing partner said: ‘The feedback we’ve had from clients so far has been very encouraging, and we are already starting to see the benefits of a combined, UK-wide approach.’

Malcolm McPherson, former HBJ senior partner and now Addleshaws senior partner in Scotland, said in a statement: ‘There are realistic and exciting opportunities for marked growth through our ambition to deliver market-leading advice.’

‘The next few years will present many challenges and opportunities for businesses based or doing business in Scotland, so it’s crucial we have the appropriate reach and expertise to meet their requirements’, he added.

Last year, merger talks between Addleshaws and Maclays to create a national practice with combined revenues of around £230m were called off.

Maclays is one of Scotland’s last remaining major independent firms, following Dundas & Wilson’s 2014 merger with CMS, McGrigors 2012 tie-up with Pinsent Masons, and Clyde & Co’s takeover of Simpson Marwick last year. Maclays had previously entered talks with Bond Pearce in 2011.