Gillespie Macandrew legal firm creates CEO post

LAW firm Gillespie Macandrew has announced major changes to its leadership team, including appointing a non-lawyer to a new chief executive post as it looks to drive significant growth.

Chris West: previously chief operating officer of the firm. Picture: Contributed

The Edinburgh-based firm, which has 22 partners, has named Chris West as chief ­executive. He will take over from managing partner Ian Turnbull, who is stepping down at the end of this month.

West, who becomes the latest in a growing number of CEOs at law firms, joined the practice as chief operating officer in 2013, having held a number of senior financial and general management posts.

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Murray Shaw, a former chairman at rival law firm Biggart Baillie, will take up the same role at Gillespie Macandrew, which he joined last year.

Head of tax John McArthur, head of land and rural business Robert Scott-Dempster and Perth-based partner Mike Blair will also join the board.

The changes at the top follow on from recent announcements about the opening of an office in Glasgow and strong 2014-15 financial results.

Murray Shaw said West brings a “sharply tuned commercial perspective into play and our ambition to grow is underlined by his appointment”.

Shaw said: “Ian has overseen several major acquisitions and mergers in the business, and has managed the firm carefully through the recent recession and the successful growth and disposal of the investment arm in 2011.”

The firm recently advised employees of an intention to bring a number of staff forward into senior and partner roles over the next two to three years as part of growth plans, It also intends to make a small number of key strategic appointments from outside of the firm.

Gillespie Macandrew currently has offices in Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow. The firm specialises in areas including private client, contentious tax advisory work and land and rural business issues. It also has a growing presence in commercial housebuilding and, through Hunters Residential, in property.