Scottish firm McClure Naismith is boosting its banking practice with the hire of a partner from Linklaters.
Edinburgh-born Patrick Bell returns to his home town from Linklaters' Warsaw office, where he was head of the finance team.
The appointment is key to McClure Naismith's strategy to build up its five-year-old banking and asset finance team. Launched in 2000, the department now has three partners and 24 staff, and a turnover last year of nearly £2m. The banking practice's biggest clients are Bank of Scotland and National Australia Bank. The firm hopes to increase turnover to £6m and seven partners during the next five years.
Bell's expertise spreads across the full range of finance and banking law, including structured finance, capital markets and debt transactions.
John Blackwood, McClure Naismith's head of banking, said that the firm was aiming to position itself as a "more than credible alternative" to Scotland's big five law firms. He and Bell will work together to develop new areas within the department and build the team across McClure Naismith's offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London.
A Linklaters spokesperson said: "We're grateful to Patrick for his contribution over the years, particularly in the development of the banking and capital markets practices in Poland, and wish him the best of luck in his new role."