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Maclay Murray & Spens is in the early stages of merger discussions with Aberdeen firm Iain Smith & Co, which would help with ramping up the Scottish heavyweight's office in the city significantly.
Maclays opened an office in Aberdeen three years ago and currently has around a dozen lawyers based there, whose main aim is exploiting corporate opportunities generated by the local oil and gas sector.
It is understood that a number of options are currently being discussed, including a full-blown merger or the acquisition of one or more teams from Iain Smith.
The latter is considerably more likely, with Maclays expected to bolt on further corporate expertise and resources. Maclays took the unusual step of notifying its Aberdeen staff of the exploratory talks last Tuesday (6 February) to head off rumours that had already begun to circulate.
Maclays chairman Magnus Swanson said: "I can confirm we've had preliminary discussions with Iain Smith & Co. It would be inappropriate to comment further."
Iain Smith was founded in 1975 and has two offices, in Stonehaven and in its main home Aberdeen. It offers estate agency services, but also has a four-partner corporate and commercial practice.