MacRoberts decimates rival with property raid

Scottish firm Miller Samuel has been rocked by the exit of almost its entire real estate practice, around a third of the firm’s partners, to MacRoberts.
The four-partner team will join MacRoberts on 1 January next year, leaving Hazel Weir as the sole real estate partner at the smaller firm.
The four partners – Douglas Lamb, Kelsey Gibson, John McQuillan and Ian Bowie – all focus on the core commercial property areas of development, investment and retail.
Their recent deals have included some of the biggest property deals in Scotland, including most recently the development of the one-million sq ft Silverburn shopping centre in Glasgow’s south side.
MacRoberts managing partner Michael Murphy described the move as an “outstanding find”.
“We’re aiming to be recognised as one of the top real estate practices in Scotland,” Murphy said, “and the acquisition of Miller Samuel’s real estate practice is a major step in that direction.”
MacRoberts is a 33-partner, full-service firm best known for projects and construction. Clients include Amec, Carillion and Balfour Beatty. The arrival of the Miller Samuel team will take its property group to 12 partners.
Last month it raided rival Burness for two property lawyers, partner Nick Jones and Sarah Pirie, an associate who is joining MacRoberts next month as a partner.
Murphy said the firm began looking at opportunities to acquire high-quality partner teams around nine months ago.
“The real estate lawyers at Miller Samuel became a clear target for us very quickly,” he added.
Miller Samuel refused to comment.