Scotland business

Law firm Harper Macleod to merge with Bird Semple

Harper Macleod headquarters on Gordon Street, Glasgow.
Image caption Bird Semple staff will move to Harper Macleod's headquarters in Glasgow next month

Law firm Harper Macleod has announced it is merging with solicitors Bird Semple to create one of Scotland's largest private client practices.

The move is the latest example of consolidation in the Scottish legal market following a series of mergers this year.

Next month Bird Semple's partners, lawyers and staff will move to Harper Macleod's Glasgow headquarters.

The move will create a firm with a combined turnover of more than £23m.

Harper Macleod, which acted as legal advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, is already one of Scotland's top five law firms by number of fee-earners.

Bird Semple, which traces its history back to 1845, recorded turnover of £2.1m in its most recent financial results.

It offers asset and wealth management advice to private clients, specialising in helping clients manage, safeguard and pass on their family wealth.

The new combined private client team of six partners will provide a range of legal services for individuals, including asset and wealth management, residential conveyancing, personal injury and medical negligence.

'Perfect sense'

Harper Macleod chairman Prof Lorne Crerar said: "This is one of the most significant developments in our firm's history, and yet another statement of our ambition to make Harper Macleod the leading law firm in the country.

"Bird Semple has an incredibly strong brand and reputation in this field, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome its partners and staff to the firm.

"We've seen increasing demand from our clients for sophisticated legal services for individuals and their families, particularly relating to asset and wealth management.

"The opportunity to bring in the specialist knowledge Bird Semple has always been renowned for was something that makes perfect sense to all involved, and will provide added value to our combined clients."

In June, Tayside law firm Thorntons announced plans to merge with leading Fife solicitors Murray Donald and Cupar legal firm Steel Eldridge Stewart.

And in May, one of Scotland's largest law firms, Dundas and Wilson, said it was merging with the international business CMS.

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