Client wins boost legal firm Anderson Strathern

Finance director Susanne Godfrey and managing partner Murray McCall. Picture: Stewart Attwood
Finance director Susanne Godfrey and managing partner Murray McCall. Picture: Stewart Attwood
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Anderson Strathern, the Edinburgh-headquartered legal firm, has flagged a strong first half on the back of client wins and said it has an eye on possible acquisitions.

The firm, which has operations in the Scottish capital, Glasgow and East Lothian, has seen revenue rise 8 per cent in the six months to 28 February, compared with a year earlier.

As part of a competitive tender process, the firm has been appointed principal provider of legal services for Crown Estate Scotland, the body responsible for managing a range of rural, coastal and marine assets across Scotland.

Other client wins during the period include APUC, the University of the West of Scotland, West College Scotland and Beijing Gold Solar.

The appointment by APUC – Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges – means Anderson Strathern is the only Scottish firm ranked in all lots of the APUC and Scottish Government legal services frameworks.

The Beijing Gold Solar appointment is said to underpin the law firm’s “growing credentials” in the renewables sector where it is also advising Elgin Energy around plans for Scotland’s largest solar park, in Moray.

Murray McCall, Anderson Strathern’s managing partner, said: “We have secured a series of high quality commercial instructions during the first half, including the reappointment by Crown Estate Scotland who are one of the firm’s longstanding clients, and have added to the talent pool of the firm; all of which has contributed to a strong set of numbers.”

Chair Bruce Farquhar added: “2018 has seen the firm strengthen its pre-eminent position across the private client, commercial and public sectors. At the same time, we are not complacent and continue to seek out opportunities to add expertise by way of merger and acquisition if we feel we can add value to our overall client proposition.”

Lateral hires have included dual-qualified property specialist Iain Grieve from HBJ to the position of partner, private client lawyer Sarah McKinlay from HBJ as a consultant and renewable energy industry stalwart Alan Simpson, also as a consultant.

Anderson Strathern has also completed a number of bolt-on acquisitions in recent years, including Glasgow-based Jeffrey Aitken and Edinburgh-based ADLP in 2016, and the firm is said to be actively considering further growth by acquisition in both Edinburgh and Glasgow.

The firm has 53 partners and more than 230 employees across its offices and can trace its roots back almost 270 years.

Writing recently in The Scotsman, McCall said: “It’s a couple of years since we last engaged in growth by acquisition… and we’re actively speaking to a number of smaller firms that could lead to similar deals over the next six to 12 months.

“When we look around the rest of the Scottish legal sector, it undoubtedly remains competitive and market forces mean consolidation is not going to go away in a hurry.

“In terms of leadership, there has been a changing of the guard at many of the leading firms and there is a good chance we’ll see more cross-migration of lawyers and teams before 2018 is out,” the managing partner added.