Edinburgh-based Burness has appointed a solicitor who has worked outside the legal market for the past four years as the head of its corporate department.
Alan Stewart, former head of legal services at Clydesdale Bank, and more recently chairman of football pitch operator Pitz, joined Burness' Glasgow office on 3 April.
Stewart's experience in corporate finance and privatisations, including the sale of the Forth Port, is expected to add weight to Burness' nine partner commercial group.
John Rafferty, chairman of Burness, says: "Alan is a highly-rated corporate lawyer and we are very pleased. He provides another important boost for our growth strategy in Glasgow.
"Having spent the past four years as a client, he is bringing back into private practice a valuable perspective which will help us fine tune the delivery of our service."
Burness' corporate department has a growing reputation in mergers and IPO work, recently acting on the £42m sale of Artesyn Technologies to a US investor and for Japanese electrical giant NEC on its investments in Scotland.
Rafferty says: "Companies like Fuji Electric and Matsushita come to us when they are setting up in Scotland and then come back to the firm for their on-going requirements."
According to Rafferty, Stewart's appointment is the first in a programme of lateral hires, a policy the company prefers to the merger option.