Maclay Murray & Spens sets its sights on London merger

Scottish-headquartered Maclay Murray & Spens has put London growth at the top of its strategic objectives and is on the lookout for a merger partner to bulk up its presence in the City.

Chief executive Magnus Swanson said the firm wants to see London account for a third of firmwide revenue, with Glasgow and Edinburgh also contributing a third each. To achieve this, significant growth in lawyer numbers and client relationships is needed.

“Our approach historically has been to try to do small mergers or acquisitions with a team or small legal firm because the goodwill and client connection is more easily assured [than with lateral hires],” said Swanson. “We are not so arrogant as to think there’s some unsuspecting entity whose door we are going to batter down. We have a flexible approach and will look for the best fit.”

The firm aims to build on the London office’s corporate, banking and financial services bent.

North of the border, where – with a turnover of £54.3m in 2007 – Maclays is a bigger player in a smaller market, the firm will continue to focus on organic growth.

“We’re not worried about being labelled Scottish or UK lawyers but want to be known as excellent commercial lawyers with clear views on what we do,” added Swanson.