Parabis Group storms into Scottish insurance market

Private equity backed Parabis Group recently entered the Scottish legal insurance market with a bold statement of intent, hiring local rival HBJ Claim Solutions’ litigation head Tony O’Malley in the process.

Parabis, an alternative business structure in England and Wales, has opened a single-partner-regulated law office known as Parabis Scotland. It will offer claimant and defendant insurance law services with the defendant branch carrying its Plexus Law brand.

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Consolidation changes the face of Scottish elite again

At the end of a dramatic year for the Scottish legal market, the recently announced union between Glasgow and Edinburgh star Burness and one of Aberdeen’s strongest firms, Paull & Williamsons, looks set to redefine the Caledonian top-tier.

The merger, which was announced last month and takes effect on 1 December, will see the two firms combine to form Burness Paull & Williamsons, a firm with 400 staff, including 60 partners and 158 fee-earners. The Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow offices will each be roughly the same size. Combined revenues based on 2011/12 figures will be around £37.6m, which will place the new entity ahead of Big Four firm Shepherd and Wedderburn and just behind local rival Brodies.

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Scottish fire sale continues as DWF snaps up Biggart Baillie

Merger fever continues to grip the Scottish legal market after veteran firm Biggart Baillie announced in June that it would be joining forces with ambitious Major UK firm DWF on 1 July.

The merger between Biggart Baillie, a Scottish blueblood which can trace its origins back to 1894, and LB’s 2011 National/Regional firm of the Year DWF, is the fifth Anglo-Scottish union since the start of the year. It follows a joint venture between DAC Beachcroft and Andersons, which was announced in March; the acquisition of niche Scottish practice Anderson Fyfe by TLT, which takes effect in July; the announcement in June that Shoosmiths would acquire Archibald Campbell & Harley; and the high-profile merger of Pinsent Masons and McGrigors, which went live on 1 May.

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Mixed fortunes for mid-market in tough Scots climate

TLT’s recent takeover of niche Scottish firm Anderson Fyfe is the latest chapter in a flurry of movement among mid-market firms in Scotland trying to secure their futures amid pernicious market conditions.

The Bristol-based firm is set to acquire Anderson Fyfe’s Glasgow and Edinburgh operations from July, while simultaneously launching a Northern Ireland practice through the lateral hire of banking litigation partner Katharine Kimber from Belfast firm Wilson Nesbitt Solicitors.

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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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Scotland – Scots Guards


This year we’ve broken the Scottish Big Four up. Most likely to the chagrin of Maclay Murray & Spens and Shepherd and Wedderburn, rival firms McGrigors and Dundas & Wilson have joined the Major UK group by virtue of national coverage, reputation and having revenues of over £60m.

While in terms of market share and quality, the Big Four are still regarded as one competitive unit, and all firms have significant businesses operating throughout the UK, Maclays’ turnover of £48.6m is some way behind that of D&W’s £62m.


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