Scottish Executive dumps Camerons, McGrigors and S&W

CMS Cameron McKenna, McGrigors and Shepherd & Wedderburn have all lost their places on the Scottish Executive’s slimmed-down legal panel after the executive arm of Scotland’s parliament concluded its review last week.

Three firms – Camerons, Burness and MacRoberts – were not among the 14 invited to tender when the review process began last December. With the public sector accounting for 50 per cent of the Scottish economy, the panel is a key appointment for Scotland’s firms.

Eight firms were successful in securing places on the new panel, which is estimated to be worth around £10m in total over its four-year life.

Big four Scottish firms Dundas & Wilson and Maclay Murray & Spens both retained their places, along with Brodies, Morton Fraser and Harper Macleod.

Anderson Strathern was the only new entrant on the panel, while DLA Piper and Pinsent Masons kept their places.

Anderson Strathern was also the only one of four Scottish firms invited to tender for the first time to secure a panel place, the others being Biggart Baillie, McClure Naismith and Simpson Marwick.

Morton Fraser litigation partner Duncan Murray, who led his firm’s tender on the review, said he was “absolutely delighted” with the reappointment.

“The executive has retained the right to instruct outwith the panel, but it’s probably unlikely they’ll instruct firms that aren’t on it, having gone through this process,” said Murray. “The make-up of the new panel is designed to be able to cover their requirements and deal with any conflicts.”

The panel, or ‘framework agreement’, effectively limits the number of firms that can pitch for work from the executive to eight.

In addition the executive will offer parcels of work ranging from low value to urgent on a rotational basis.