Clash of the tartans

Still reeling after McGrigors beat it to the biggest-Scottish-firm-by-turnover spot for the second year running, Dundas & Wilson at last has taken some decisive action.

Years ago the firm cleverly identified having a larger London presence as a key strategic aim. Now the firm has launched merger talks with heavyweight Bircham Dyson Bell (see story).

Quite what the synergies between the two firms are is unclear at this stage, but if odd-looking tie-ups are what it’s after it could do worse than follow McGrigors’ lead.

Remember when West End litigation boutique Reid Minty put itself up for sale via an ad in The Lawyer (see story)? McGrigors looked mad for answering the call (see story), but a Belfast merger, Doha launch and US referral agreement later and there appears to be method in its madness.

Having lagged Dundas in the turnover stakes between 2005-06 and 2008-09, the deals have given McGrigors a boost at a time when merger mania has made rankings almost as important an indicator as profitability.

With the Dundas-Bircham deal, things could actually start to get interesting. Let the battle of the Scottish giants begin.


Next Monday The Lawyer UK200 Annual Report 2011 goes live. For a sneak preview go to this Friday.