McGrigor Donald has announced its half-year figures just days after signing a merger deal with KLegal - a deal first revealed in The Lawyer (12 November).
The Scottish giant has stayed robust in the current economic climate, with fee income rising 11 per cent to £18.7m, proving its attractiveness to the accountancy-tied firm. In April this year, McGrigor Donald posted annual results of £34.6m. Half-year results equate to £37.4m for the next full year. McGrigors and KLegal will formally merge on 1 January 2002, with McGrigors managing partner Kirk Murdoch taking up the role of managing partner for Scotland and Ireland. Of McGrigors four key areas - banking, property, corporate and employment - three are proved to have grown significantly compared to this time last year. The firm's banking practice has seen fee income jump by a massive 70 per cent on the previous year. Murdoch attributed the rise in banking to the firm's ability to look after existing clients, including HBOS (formerly the Bank of Scotland) and the Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS). In September, the firm hired CMS Cameron McKenna lawyer Jonathan Leggett, who had a longstanding relationship with RBS, to head its banking practice in London and consolidate the client relationship. Property is up by 23 per cent on last year and corporate has increased by 10 per cent. McGrigors set out its four key areas a year ago. In November it spun off its private client practice to Scottish rival Maclay Murray & Spens. It dissolved its residential property department around the same time, although Murdoch says that the departmental cuts had nothing to do with the merger. McGrigors' best friends relationship with Philadel-phia-based Pepper Hamilton will now extend to the 76-partner combined firm. Murdoch said: "Pepper Hamilton will now have a non-exclusive relationship with KLegal. The prospect of Pepper Hamilton entering into a formal alliance with KLegal is not an immediate possibility."