Scottish survey praises Scots but work still leaks to London

Scottish law firms are offering a high quality service in general corporate and commercial work, but are losing business to London in international and intellectual property law, according to a recent survey of legal clients.

A survey of 401 industrial and commercial clients, commissioned by the Law Society of Scotland and Scottish Financial Enterprise, has revealed a high level of client satisfaction, with highest regard given to quality of service and the calibre of personnel.

Some 85 per cent of respondents were generally satisfied with their main firm, with only 1 per cent dissatisfied.

But the survey also revealed a tendency to use London firms for European and international law, tax, pensions, trademarks and intellectual property law.

Grant Baird, executive director of Scottish Financial enterprise, said: “In general, the results are highly pleasing and reassuring. They indicate that the quality and the expertise are here and recognised by clients. If anything, what seems to be needed is a less modest approach, particularly in areas where there is leakage to London, such as European law, tax and pensions.

“Anyone who thinks about it for a moment knows that expertise in these areas is widespread in Scotland.

“Corporate lawyers may usefully reflect on the fact that a huge majority in the survey indicated that they had no objection to being 'sold' to.”