Maclays names real estate chief as next CEO as Swanson steps down

Maclay Murray & Spens chief executive Magnus Swanson is standing down after three terms and will be replaced by the firm’s real estate chief.

Magnus Swanson
Magnus Swanson

Swanson, who has been chief executive since January 2003, will return to practice in the firm’s corporate group when he hands over the reins to Chris Smylie on 1 June.

Smylie, who is currently a member of the firm’s board, joined Maclays from Aberdeen firm Ledingham Chalmers in 1999. He is based in Maclays’ London office.

In a statement, Swanson said Smylie was an “excellent choice” as the firm’s next leader.

He added: “As a board member and divisional head, Chris Smylie’s been heavily involved in the formulation of the firm’s strategy and has worked closely with me, the executive team and a wide range of partners from each of our four offices in its implementation.”

Firm chairman Robert Laing said the firm was grateful to Swanson for his “leadership, strategic vision and commitment over the last eight years”.

“He hands over the reins with the firm in a strong position and will work with Chris Smylie over the coming months to ensure a smooth transition,” he added.

Edinburgh-based Laing has been the firm’s chairman since June 2010, when he took over from Philip Skerrett. Laing had initially lost out to Skerrett in 2007, when the election of a London partner to the role was seen as a major signal of the firm’s intent to grow its presence south of the border (30 April 2007).

Skerrett had joined Maclays in 2004 as part of the Scottish firm’s merger with six-partner boutique City Law Partnership, where he had been senior partner.