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Maclay Murray on track for deals of £2bn

Maclay Murray & Spens has said it is on track to conclude more than £2 billion worth of deals in the current quarter, on the back of heightened UK-wide and international corporate activity.

The law firm was lead legal adviser to Aberdeen Asset Management on its landmark £650 million acquisition of SWIP, and also advised on the £700m joint venture that sees Gatehouse, the Shariah-compliant investment bank, team up with Edinburgh-based Sigma Capital to build 6,600 private homes for rent.

Helical Bar's purchase of a £50m property portfolio, and Dart Energy's farm - out of a 25% stake in onshore petroleum exploration and development licences to GDF Suez for £24.5m, were among a number of other significant deals in the quarter.

Maclays also advised certain shareholders in Rangers International Football Club in their high-profile application for judicial review and interdict, in what was believed to be the first judgement of its kind.

The upbeat report comes after a difficult period which saw the firm make 28 people redundant in Edinburgh, Glasgow and London after a strategic review.

Maclays saw profits per equity partner plunge 22% last year as it slipped from second to third in the league table of Scottish independent firms.

Chris Smylie, chief executive, said: "We have seen a strong level of activity in recent months, with the last quarter of 2013, in particular, being the best for some time.

"We have made significant investment across all four UK offices with 13 partners appointed in the past year alone, and look forward to 2014 with considerable optimism."

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