The “mutual and amicable” de-merger sees a 26-strong Simpson & Marwick team move into dedicated new offices where lawyers will continue to focus on the “buoyant” property markets in Edinburgh and East Lothian.
The firm has one of the best recognised names in the Scottish capital’s residential property market and traces its roots back to 1886.
The residential property division was a niche area of the legal practice when Simpson & Marwick as a whole merged with and changed its name to Clyde & Co in 2015.
Since then the merged firm has focused on the growth of its core specialisms of dispute resolution, professional liability, insurance, commercial property, healthcare and employment law.
Following the breakaway, Clyde & Co will no longer include residential property as part of its offering in Scotland.
Simpson & Marwick will become part of the Aberdeins Group, with its founder, Rob Aberdein, joining as managing partner.
Partner Richard Loudon, who steps up to chairman after 41 years with the firm and intends to continue for several more years, said: “We move with the full support of Clyde & Co as the services we offer are not part of their global core areas of expertise. The time is right, for both Clyde & Co and ourselves, to de-merge our residential property division.
“I am delighted that we can continue to protect the legacy of the Simpson & Marwick brand established in 1886.
“We will take it forward into a new era, unlike so many well established and respected Edinburgh law firms that have disappeared in recent years.”
As well as Loudon’s continuing leadership, the firm will be spearheaded by the existing team of solicitor director Bobby Fife and by property directors, Louisa Raistrick, Katie Macdonald and Di Jennings, who offer decades of combined legal and estate agency experience. Two high profile lateral hires will be announced shortly, the firm added.
Fife said: “This is an exciting move for our entire team. The new firm will be traditional in terms of a relentless focus on client service, while also making use of cutting-edge technology.”
Simpson & Marwick’s Edinburgh team will be moving to a new office in the city’s west end while its East Lothian office will remain at 88 High Street, North Berwick.
North Berwick-based Jennings added: “Our experienced teams in East Lothian and Edinburgh are enthused by the exciting opportunities this offers to grow the brand and our offerings to clients.”
Vikki Melville, managing partner at Clyde & Co Scotland, said: “We thank the residential property team for all their hard work and service to the firm over the years and we wish them all the very best in their new home. We are proud that the Simpson & Marwick name will live on.”
Clyde & Co operates globally and has 440 partners, 1,800 lawyers, 2,500 legal professionals and 4,000 staff in more than 50 offices.