Scotland: Art of the possible

Scotland: Art of the possible

Wherever you look, there are women filling legal roles that had previously appeared closed to them in Scotland: Lorna Jack has been chief executive of the Law Society since 2009; Lady Dorrian has been Lord Justice Clerk – the country’s second-most senior judge – since 2016; and Angela Grahame QC has been vice-dean of the Faculty of Advocates for three years, the second woman to hold the role but the first to have been competitively elected to it.

At the same time, practically all the big independent firms are now either led or co-led by a woman, many for the first time in their history. At Brodies, chair Christine O’Neill works alongside managing partner Nick Scott; Burness Paull is co-led by managing partner Tamar Tammes and chair Peter Lawson; while Morton Fraser chair Maggie Moodie manages the firm along with chief executive Chris Harte. Continue reading “Scotland: Art of the possible”

Scotland: All our yesterdays

Scotland: All our yesterdays

Change always creates opportunities,’ says Nick Scott, the new managing partner at Brodies, when asked about this year’s departure of predecessor Bill Drummond. But he then quickly adopts a more cautious tone: ‘There will be no radical change to the way we will run our business.’

Scott’s reticence to herald a new era with a major pivot reflects the predicament of a leader inheriting a 20-year legacy of success. Drummond presided over a striking 122% revenue growth between 2007 and 2017, ending with a slow (by Brodies’ standards) 2% increase for the financial year 2016/17, with turnover up to £66.7m, while profit per equity partner (PEP) dropped 2% from £597,000 to £585,000. Continue reading “Scotland: All our yesterdays”

The Scottish play – amid uncertain times English law firms keep crossing the border

The Scottish play – amid uncertain times English law firms keep crossing the border

Neither political nor economic uncertainty in Scotland is dampening enthusiasm for law firm tie-ups across the border

With a listless economy, an oil and gas industry decimated by low commodity prices, and uncertainty over its future relationship with the EU and the rest of the UK, Scotland is lacking both clarity and optimism over its future.

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Clyde & Co’s Tait voted Scottish region head replacing legacy Simpson & Marwick’s Keyden

Clyde & Co’s Tait voted Scottish region head replacing legacy Simpson & Marwick’s Keyden

Clyde & Co has chosen latent disease team head David Tait as its new Scotland managing partner, effective from today (1 June), replacing current managing partner and former Simpson & Marwick head Gordon Keyden.

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Gateley makes approaches to secure new Scottish tie-up

Gateley makes approaches to secure new Scottish tie-up

With the merger between its former Scottish arm and Addleshaw Goddard due to go live on 1 June, Gateley is looking at options for a new Scottish tie-up and has approached a number of firms in the market.

According to one Scottish partner, Anderson Strathern, which has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and East Lothian, would be the most likely option for a tie-up.

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Northern lights – The trials and treasures of Scotland’s leading GCs

Northern lights – The trials and treasures of Scotland’s leading GCs

Outside the limelight of London’s legal community, Scotland’s GCs toil in low profile. Legal Business assesses the talent north of the border

The professional life of a public company general counsel (GC) in Scotland can feel isolated at times. As a member of a small club, opportunities to plug into the professional networks that their peers in the South East of England take for granted can be limited. ‘We do get a sense sometimes that we are a decreasing community!’ confesses Christopher Morgan, GC and company secretary at Glasgow-based engineering plc Weir Group. ‘Certainly the number of Scottish-based plc GCs is thin on the ground and it’s dwindling.’

Continue reading “Northern lights – The trials and treasures of Scotland’s leading GCs”