McGrigors seeks UK growth with merger

Scotland's largest independent law firm, McGrigor Donald, is seeking a London merger partner in a bid to establish itself as a UK firm.

London managing partner Steven Scates admits the

57-strong partnership is reversing its expansion strategy after rejecting merger overtures from several firms last year.

“The trouble with organic growth is that, while you get the right people with the right skills, the rate of growth is very slow,” Scates says.

“We are at the point now where the number of instructions coming out of the London office and the quality of work generated in London needs to be addressed. I am looking at people at all levels, and that will include teams and maybe other firms.”

The news comes after the announcement that David Mandell, a partner with SJ Berwin, and Anthony Edwards, head of construction at DJ Freeman, are joining McGrigor Donald's London operation.

Mandell will join as an equity partner, spearheading corporate finance for technology and leisure industry clients.

“The firm acted on four dotcom AIM listings in the past month alone. David's appointment reinforces the expansion of McGrigor Donald in London,” says Scates.

The appointments bring the number of lawyers in the firm's London office, which was established in 1988, to 46 – an increase of 20 over the past two years.

However, the rate of growth has disappointed some in the firm, who expected more positive action following the opening of a new office in Belfast early last year.