The agreement will see the move of property partner David Geddie and senior associate Lynne Stewart, who will operate under the Ledingham Chalmers Estate Agency name. The team will practise from both Simpson & Marwick’s current premises in Aberdeen and Ledingham Chalmers’ headquarters in the city.
Partner and head of residential property at Ledingham Chalmers, Mike Cunningham, commented: ‘This deal presents an important evolution of our firm at a pivotal moment for the north-east [of Scotland]. We’re now seeing an improving picture in terms of activity and investment. For example, the city’s bypass opened recently; the P&J Live event arena opened recently too for Offshore Europe, its first conference; and construction is underway at Aberdeen Harbour Board’s £350m South Harbour development.
‘This deal isn’t about increasing size for the sake of it, it’s about bringing together two strong practices delivering unrivalled knowledge and expertise to clients and creating a stronger, sustainable market position in a region that’s experiencing something of a renaissance. That’s our motivation,’ Cunningham added.
Geddie commented: ‘This is a client-focused move. I have known and respected the Ledingham Chalmers’ team for many years. We’re enthusiastic about what it means to come together and create something new that offers such an impressive service to clients ranging from first time buyers to those looking at the very top end of the market.’
Clydes residential property division will continue to operate under the Simpson & Marwick brand in Edinburgh and East Lothian and its Aberdeen office with continue to house its global insurance practice, led by Harry Boyle and Mark Donaldson. Ledingham Chalmers has offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Stirling and Inverness and will now have 198 people, including 33 partners.
Clydes merged with Simpson & Marwick in 2015, which had a significant property team. It also had a private client team, which was transferred to Scottish firm Gillespie Macandrew last month as the firm chose to focus more on its core sectors of insurance, energy, trade & commodities, transport and infrastructure.
In recent weeks, Clydes has seen significant number of departures with six London-based shipping partners from the firm’s global marine group resigning, as well as eight partners leaving the San Francisco office. Both groups left the firm in favour of setting up their own boutique practices.