Consolidation is the word of the day across Scotland’s firms

The Scottish market is awash with merger rumours. Perhaps the imminent tie-up between McGrigors and Pinsent Masons has kick-started the recent developments but Scottish managing partners now have consolidation high up the agenda.

The marriage between McGrigors and Pinsents, which is expected to go live in May, will create a national heavyweight with combined revenues of roughly £282m and over 1,500 lawyers, pushing the new venture comfortably into the top 15 of the LB100.

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Addressing partner underperformance

James Tsolakis of The Royal Bank of Scotland published his annual report, A perspective on the legal market, in March. In it, he says UK firms have 5% overcapacity in fee-earner resources and has told LB that firms need to address this issue at partner level. The report also says that the success of new partner compensation models that align compensation with performance depends on ‘effective partner appraisal systems’.

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FSA’s Cole holds all the cards in choosing her next move

After two years of speculation in the financial services sector, it has finally happened. Margaret Cole, Financial Services Authority (FSA) managing director and all-round tough lady, is leaving the regulator after seven years.

Dubbed in 2011 by a finance partner as the ‘most hated woman in the City’, Cole’s legacy at the UK watchdog will forever be entrenched in her recent uncompromising stance against the country’s banking industry. The past five years have seen the FSA hand out a number of jaw-dropping fines and crack a series of insider trading rings.

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Magic Circle reigns but cracks are there

In the same way the sports media has speculated long and hard these past couple of years on the ‘demise’ of Tiger Woods, much has also been said about the Magic Circle also losing its aura of invincibility since the global financial crisis.

The Magic Circle’s relentless pursuit of domination has inspired awe over the last two decades but at the same time has drawn brickbats when things have gone awry. It is all too easy to build something up only to knock it down.

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