THE managing partner of Aberdein Considine has said the law firm still has major ambitions to continue growing and is mulling whether to launch into England.

Jacqueline Law was speaking as the practice completed a £1 million expansion in Aberdeen and Glasgow.

She indicated the firm's new office in Scotland's biggest city, its first commercial legal office in Glasgow to add to a property site in Shawlands, will be aiming to win market share in areas including employment, corporate advisory, family law and dispute resolution.

Loading article content

Former Anderson Strathern lawyer Paul Jennings, a commercial property specialist who has worked with the likes of Greggs, Austin Reed, Thomas Sabo, Krispy Kreme and Rox, will be heading up the St Vincent Street operation.

Aberdein Considine said an expansion of its Aberdeen headquarters, which will see some smaller offices in the city closed and sold, has also been completed. Around 160 staff will now be housed under one roof on Bon-Accord Crescent.

Mrs Law, who took over as managing partner from Harvey Aberdein last October, said: "The intention was always to come to Glasgow with a legal office but central to that was getting the right person.

"Paul Jennings has a great reputation in the commercial property market, a good bank of clients and was looking for a new challenge.

"The rationale is to service existing clients who want to see us offer services across the whole of Scotland and also to appeal to new clients across Scotland."

A number of other lawyers from within the firm will also work out of the Glasgow office but Mrs Law is keen to add new recruits in the coming months.

She said: "The aim for the office is for it to be providing a full range of legal services the same as we would from an Aberdeen or Edinburgh office.

"Our ears are to the ground for the right people to build the office."

According to Mrs Law the firm sees the small and medium enterprise market as the main area it hopes to win market share in but is also keen to see an increase in referral work from London legal practices.

She said: "We would be disappointed if we moved into the market and didn't pick up any new business."

Asked whether the firm might consider setting up outside of Scotland Mrs Law said there were no immediate plans but the option has been discussed at partner meetings.

She said: "Something we are looking at is whether in addition with clients looking for us to service them within Scotland there is a need to be in England. It is not something we would rule out."

Mrs Law believes the peak of merger activity between legal firms in Scotland may have passed but still expects there to be further agreements over the course of this year.

She indicated Aberdein Considine is more focused on organic growth. However it has been approached about deals on several occasions but so far has only completed one merger, with Muirhead Buchanan in Stirling during November last year.

She said: "We won't shy away from an acquisition if it fits with our business. The partners and the people fit is the biggest challenge [in any deal] but we are not on some hungry acquisition hunt or looking to merge, we are on our own path."

Mrs Law also reaffirmed Aberdein Considine's commitment to its property and conveyancing offering alongside its commercial legal offering.

The firm has a turnover of £20million and more than 350 staff across offices in Aberdeen, Peterhead, Banchory, Stonehaven, Inverurie, Westhill, Ellon, Stirling, Perth, Glasgow, Livingston, Bathgate, and Edinburgh.