Tods Murray in takeover of rival Fyfe Ireland

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MERGER activity in the Scottish legal sector continued yesterday with Edinburgh-based mid-tier practice Tods Murray taking over smaller rival Fyfe Ireland.

The move comes less than a week after McGrigors, Scotland’s largest law firm by turnover, revealed that it was in merger talks with larger London-based peer Pinsent Masons.

In the latest deal, Fyfe Ireland partners Greig Honeyman and Drew Taylor – along with eight solicitors and six support staff – are joining Tods Murray’s private client team, dealing with areas of law including tax, trusts and wills.

The firms said that the merger – which will take the number of fee earners working on private client issues to 26 – will create one of the largest departments of its kind in Scotland. It will swell Tods Murray’s total headcount to 35 partners, 83 solicitors and 72 support staff.

Sir Andrew Cubie, a former CBI chairman and a consultant at Fyfe Ireland, will continue to work for the combined firm.

David Dunsire, executive partner at Tods Murray, said: “In Greig, Drew and their team, we have gained some of Scotland’s best talent.”

Taylor said the firms have very similar “cultures”. He added: “By merging, we can now give our clients a far greater level of service and our staff the best opportunities.”

Fyfe Ireland emerged in its current form in 2005, after its entire commercial property team left to join Brodies. Honeyman and Taylor decided to focus on private client work, while a further three partners left to join other firms.