Burness raids DLA for Edinburgh construction duo

Scottish firm Burness has raided DLA Piper’s Edinburgh office for two construction partners, including one of the few remaining Bird Semple partners at the firm.

Fenella Mason, head of DLA Piper’s Scottish construction and engineering unit, joined the firm as part of its 2000 merger with Bird Semple, joins Burness along with partner Sandra Cassels.

DLA’s office managing partner for Scotland, Bruce Westbrook, said: “It is always disappointing when partners leave, however lawyers in our projects team will continue to provide construction and engineering support to our clients.

“Our Scottish practice continues to grow and has more than doubled in size over the past four years. In line with our growth plans we will be recruiting across all our practice groups, including construction and engineering.”

Mason has been a partner at DLA Piper since it merged with the corporate and commercial departments of Glasgow’s Bird Semple, where she had made partner in 1995.

She is one of a string of former Bird Semple partners to leave DLA Piper. Most recently Gordon Hollerin, who had been Bird Semple’s managing partner as well as DLA Piper’s Scottish managing partner, left the firm to join Semple Fraser.

Last month Burness beefed up its property practice with the hire of McClure Naismith real estate head Nick Naddell, who joined along with McClures associate Emma Millar and MacRoberts associate Graeme Bradshaw (The Lawyer, 14 April).

Burness chairman Philip Rodney said: “Not only do we now have one of the largest and strongest construction teams in the country, but this strategic move will provide further support to our property, projects and dispute resolution practices.

“At a time when Scotland has so many exciting infrastructure projects, we will be able to resource the largest and most complex construction disputes and transactions.

“We are delighted to have secured such recognised market leaders as part of the implementation of our business strategy, ensuring we remain at the forefront in the Scottish legal market.”