Scottish top 20 nervy as independence vote nears

Scotland could well be on course to become an independent country, with a YouGov poll published at the weekend putting the pro-separatist Yes campaign ahead for the first time.

For the country’s law firms, the result will make uncomfortable reading. Although the Scottish top 20 started to put the ravages of the recession behind them in 2013/14, with collective turnover of £438.2m marking a rise of almost 8 per cent, anticipation of the impending referendum has already had an impact on commercial activity in 2014/15.

As we explore in this week’s lead analysis, businesses both in and out of Scotland have taken a break from investing in the country until they have a clear picture of exactly what its constitutional make-up it will be.

However, as a number of managing partners north of the border told us, simply getting through the 18 September vote won’t put an end to the uncertainty – especially if the electorate votes yes.

Some of the top Scottish firms have an entrepreneurial spirit that will see them prosper regardless. But with the key question of which currency an independent Scotland would trade in not going to be answered unless Holyrood and Westminster can reach an agreement, it’s no wonder nervousness abounds.

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