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Scottish firm McGrigors has taken a significant step in its quest to become a UK national firm by opening an office in Manchester.
McGrigors - the first major Scottish player to begin positioning itself as a national firm by opening in London in 1987 - will open its first English regional office in January.
Managing partner Colin Gray said: "The office won't be all things to all men, but will be based on the infrastructure market. We have good client relationships around that neck of the woods and this has been driven by clients saying get up here."
Construction partner Peter Blackmore is moving from London on a full-time basis, with other partners and associates planning to spend a few days a week in Manchester. Gray said that, once the office is up and running, it will be expanded by recruiting locally.
Despite branching into the regions, Gray said the firm was not planning to take on the larger firms in the North West.
Admitting that McGrigors was a "hard organisation to pigeonhole", he added that the office will focus on construction, real estate funding, project finance and employment issues.