Fiona Morton to chair law firm Gillespie Macandrew

Legal firm Gillespie Macandrew has revealed the appointment of a former managing partner and chair of property company Ryden as non-executive chair, noting that a non-lawyer is taking up the role.

Fiona Morton succeeds Murray Shaw as chair of Gillespie Macandrew. Picture: Simon Williams

The Edinburgh-based independent firm said it is taking on surveyor Fiona Morton, whose previous roles also include managing director of Millar and Bryce. She currently serves as chair of the Scottish Property Awards judging panel and takes over at the start of next month from Murray Shaw, who is retiring.

Robert Scott-Dempster, board member, head of land and rural business, chair of the appointment panel and partner, said Murray’s retirement provided the chance “to look more widely for its next chair, seeking broad commercial experience from beyond legal services and allowing [its] partners to concentrate on what they do best”.

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He also said Morton brings “significant experience of working in very senior roles in professional services partnerships and other commercial structures as well as a substantial knowledge of the Scottish business markets and a strong client focus”.

Gillespie Macandrew chief executive Chris West said he expects Morton to “help us drive forward and capitalise on the growth and development we have had over the past couple of years”.

Morton added: “I very much look forward to working with Chris and the board to support them and the wider partnership in pursuing their plans to drive the business forward to further success in the next few years.”

• Law firm Burness Paull has boosted the foundations of its property team, now its largest practice area, with two senior appointments.

Nicky Clemence will work in its Edinburgh office and joins from Brodies, bringing more than 15 years’ experience in real estate and having worked at Herbert Smith in London. She mainly covers the retail, office and student sectors.

John Sinclair joins as consultant and will focus on the firm’s growing Central Belt housebuilder portfolio. He has worked in commercial property for more than 20 years and was previously a partner at Maclay Murray & Spens where he set up and managed its housebuilder unit.

Tamar Tammes, partner and head of property at Burness Paull, said the property team has experienced “significant” growth over the last three years, and is advising on projects planned to deliver more than 20,000 new homes, for example. “Nicky and John join the firm at an exciting time,” he added.