MacRoberts’ headcount to grow after firm defies gloom

John Macmillan hailed great start in Dundee
John Macmillan hailed great start in Dundee
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Commercial law firm ­MacRoberts is gearing up for growth in the coming year led by a doubling of staff at its ­newest office, in Dundee.

The headcount will rise to eight in the city, driven by a surge in construction-related work linked to major projects such as £1.1 billion regeneration of Dundee’s waterfront area. Staff numbers across the firm – which includes established offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow – are expected to rise by 10 per cent during the next 12 months to more than 240.

News of the expansion follows a year of growth in both turnover and profits for MacRoberts, and comes just days after the collapse of fellow Scots legal firm Tods Murray. It was bought out of administration by Shepherd and Wedderburn with the anticipated loss of 50 of 170 staff.

MacRoberts’ Dundee office is headed by John Macmillan, who earlier this month was voted the firm’s new managing partner. Macmillan is the first to be voted twice to the role, having previously served between 1998 and 2005.

“It’s been a great start to the Dundee operation,” Macmillan said. “Business has increased significantly; we have built up more clients and more business from existing clients. It’s a really good story.”

Turnover at MacRoberts rose slightly in 2013-14 to £17.6 million, while profits were up nearly 2 per cent at £6m.

Macmillan said this was “a really interesting time” for the firm, with signs of “significantly” increased activity in a number of sectors. While work in areas such as employment and crisis management has declined following the recession, corporate projects, banking and construction contracts were all chalking up strong growth.

“Our focus will be on delivering a continuous improvement programme across all business operations, with high-calibre fee-earning and support staff at the heart of what we do,” he said. “Collaboratively, we will be delivering quality services to our clients with their needs in mind.”

Macmillan joined the litigation department of MacRoberts in 1982, and became a partner in 1986. Specialising in employment law from 1990, he transferred to Dundee when that office opened last year.