People: The business diary

Working with clients from the fashion and retail sectors seems to have brought out the entrepreneurial streak in Gemma Ogilvie, a senior solicitor at Maclay Murray & Spens (MMS).

Gemma Ogilvie is celebrating the first birthday of the Stockbridge Boutique
Gemma Ogilvie is celebrating the first birthday of the Stockbridge Boutique

Since joining the law firm as a trainee in 2007, she has gone on to specialise exclusively in intellectual property and technology-related disputes, but that did not prevent her from opening her Stockbridge Boutique, which celebrated its first birthday last week.

Ogilvie said MMS encourages staff when it comes to seeking out new enterprises, adding: “By engaging in ventures of our own, you could argue it gives us an extra bit of experience when we are advising clients on their own businesses.”

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The fight that wasn’t

Sir Tom Hunter says the hullabaloo over his sale of an 11 per cent stake in House of Fraser to Mike Ashley was “all just a storm in a teacup”.

Whatever Ashley’s plan was, Hunter says his decision to sell to the Sports Direct owner instead of the Chinese firm bidding to take control was purely commercial.

Speaking to The Scotsman as he launched a new version of the Scottish Edge entrepreneur support programme, he said: “We sold our stake, we got paid, and I think the rest of the shareholders are still waiting.

“I think [the sale of the retailer to China’s Sanpower] will go through, but I was being offered cash today rather than a highly conditional deal. It was pretty simple. The papers seem to love a fight, but it wasn’t that big a fight.”

Sitting ducks get away

This year’s Pick of the Fringe took on a whole new meaning for STV journalist Iain Pope.

As the last to arrive at Bank of Scotland’s prime positioned table for hacks and media relations staff, he was left dangerously exposed to the roving wit of compere and comedians alike.

Despite being picked on by almost every act he took it in good spirits, laughing as much as anyone as magician Pete Firman and stand-up Jimeoin stole the stage at Edinburgh’s Sheraton Grand Hotel.

However, it seems the funnymen missed a trick, as a clutch of employees of a bailed-out bank were sat on the same table as Pope but got away unscathed.

French backs word power

Acclaimed children’s author Vivian French, author of titles such as Hedgehogs Don’t Eat Hamburgers and Morris the Mouse Hunter, was keen to lend her support to an initiative launched by the ScottishPower Foundation this week.

In partnership with Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Spanish-owned utility’s charity arm is inviting primary schools from across Glasgow, Edinburgh and the Lothians to submit an image of their current library or reading area along with 100 words on how they would like the space to feel in the future.

The two winning entries will each receive a £2,000 investment for their reading provisions, along with their very own mini book festival, featuring a visit from one of Scotland’s leading authors.