Business news in brief: Ledingham Chalmers | Versarien | Crossrail

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Scottish law firm Ledingham Chalmers has promoted four of its solicitors to partner as it strenghtens its offering across a range of sectors.

Malcolm Ferguson, John Mitchell, Sarah Morris and Tim Thomas, who are all in their 30s, will make the step up from associate on 1 April. The four have between six and ten years’ service with the firm.

Jennifer Young, chairman of Ledingham Chalmers, which will have 29 partners following the appointments, said: “This group has given considerable service to the firm since joining, delivering value to their respective teams and clients.”

Versarien seeks to raise £3m in float

Specialist metals engineering group Versarien today announced plans to raise about £3 million by floating on the Alternative Investment Market (Aim) by the end of this month.

The Gloucestershire-based firm, chaired by Scots-born industry veteran Jim Murray-Smith, said the proceeds would be used to fund the £2.3m acquisition of tungsten carbide component maker Total Carbide from Aim-listed Elektron Technologies.

Versarien founder and chief executive Neill Ricketts said: “This is an extremely exciting opportunity for the group.”

Crossrail calls for more Scots firms

Scottish companies have been urged to grasp their share of the work available on the £14.8bn Crossrail project in London.

The 73-mile scheme to connect 37 stations between Maidenhead in Berkshire and Abbey Wood, near Greewich, has already awarded contracts worth more than £5.5bn to 1,700 firms, of which almost half are based outside London and the south-east of England.

Crossrail chief Andrew Wolstenholme said: “It’s vital that businesses in Scotland seize the opportunities that Europe’s largest construction project has to offer.”

Cyprus warned on exit from eurozone

Olli Rehn, the EU economic affairs commissioner, warned yesterday against a Cypriot exit from the eurozone and said all countries in the bloc were systemically important.

“Even if you come from a big EU country, you should be aware that every member of the eurozone is systemically relevant,” Rehn said – a criticism of German finance minister Wolfgang Schaeuble, who has questioned whether the tiny island is relevant. “If Cyprus becomes disorderly insolvent, it is very likely that would lead to it exiting the eurozone,” Rehn added.

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