A Scottish corporate law start-up, whose principals have worked with some of the UK's biggest blue-chips, is preparing expansion plans despite the pressures in the sector.
Glasgow-based Kergan Stewart, which was founded in June 2012 by corporate and commercial lawyers Alan Stewart and Elizabeth Kennedy, hopes to recruit up to 15 lawyers to grow the business after becoming business customers of Clydesdale Bank.
Mr Stewart said: "We have premises of 3000 sq ft, and we intend to fill it with between 12 to 15 lawyers over the next couple of years.
"We are expecting to recruit the first members of our new team before this summer."
The growth plans come as some rivals retrench, with DLA Piper about to close its Glasgow office – where it has 75 staff including 10 partners – and merger talk continuing to buzz in the sector.
In its first seven months, Kergan Stewart has been involved in transactional work such as the sale of John R Weir Mercedes Benz to Arnold Clark Automobiles in August. It recently completed funding for the purchase of a townhouse development in Edinburgh and is currently working on a number of sizeable private equity deals. The firm says that, while based in Glasgow, it deals with clients across the UK.
Mr Stewart has over 30 years of experience of corporate and commercial law spanning transactions, private and in-house practice, consultancy, executive and non-executive director roles. His career includes two years as head of legal services at Clydesdale Bank. He is also senior tutor for the corporate module of the Diploma in Legal Practice at the University of Glasgow.
Ms Kennedy also has more than 30 years' experience, mostly at director level, in corporate finance and broking, providing board-level strategic, project management and regulatory advice mainly to listed UK and international companies. Murdoch MacLennan, head of business development for Clydesdale Bank in the west of Scotland, said: "Over the course of their careers, Alan and Elizabeth have acted for some of the biggest business names in Scotland, and indeed the UK.
"Their new firm looks set to continue that success, attracting high-profile clients and significant deals, and we look forward to a long and successful relationship."
Mr Stewart said: "Given our expansion plans, it was important to us to find a bank willing to support growth. "