Gilson Gray unveils posts poached from Morisons

Glen Gilson, Managing Partner of Gilson Gray. Picture: Contributed
Glen Gilson, Managing Partner of Gilson Gray. Picture: Contributed
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Law firm Gilson Gray is planning to unveil more senior appointments over the coming weeks after poaching the entire commercial dispute resolution team from rival Morisons.

The largest full-service practice to open in Scotland for more than a century said the move highlighted its “determination to maintain its growth plans” following last year’s launch.

The partners impressed me enormously with their enthusiasm

Rosie Walker

Among the six people joining the firm is solicitor advocate Alex Garioch, formerly head of litigation at Morisons, who said: “It seems to me the Gilson Gray story will be one of success and I am proud to be part of it.”

The firm has also appointed partner Rosie Walker, who acted for Liberal Democrat MP and former Scottish Secretary Alistair Carmichael in the first election trial in Scotland for 50 years.

Walker said: “The partners have impressed me enormously with their enthusiasm and commitment to outstanding customer service and to achieving great results. I am very much looking forward to working with the existing wider team at Gilson Gray, which already has incredible strength and depth.”

Also joining from Morisons is Keith Anderson, who becomes an associate in its insolvency team. Anderson’s recent instructions include acting as lead solicitor to BDO on the administration of Heart of Midlothian Football Club and in-house legal counsel for Rangers.

Steven Jansch, head of insolvency at Gilson Gray, said: “The additions to the team help us build on the solid progress already made. We have an exciting opportunity to continue on the development path.”

Following the swoop on its dispute practice, Morisons – which has 19 partners and about 100 staff – said yesterday that it has brought in a five-strong team from McClure Naismith, which collapsed into administration towards the end of last month.

Ewen Brown joins the firm as head of disputes, along with associates Carol Boyd, David Forrester and Alan McCormack, and recently-qualified assistant David McAlpine. They will operate from its Glasgow and Edinburgh offices. Morisons managing partner Peter Duff said: “McClure Naismith were renowned in this field and it’s terrific to have them join us at this exciting time in our growth.”

Joint administrators for McClure Naismith said at the weekend that 95 staff out of its total 135 workforce have secured new jobs since its collapse, with this figure set to rise during the course of the month.

The firm, founded in Glasgow in 1826, called in administrators from FRP Advisory on 28 August following months of speculation about its financial health.

Among those to have found new roles is former executive chairman Robin Shannan, who joined Maclay Murray & Spens alongside four other partners and about 30 staff.

Against the backdrop of cutbacks and mergers, Gilson Gray insisted it was “bucking trends” by expanding its talent and resources following its launch, which saw it cherry-pick staff from rival practices to simultaneously open offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow in May 2014.

Managing partner Glen Gilson, previously part of the senior management team at HBJ Gateley, said: “We are extremely proud what we have achieved in our first year of trading and sincerely thank the Scottish business community for their ongoing support.

“We hope to announce further senior appointments over the next few weeks, and continue to encourage the very best of Scottish talent to join us.”