THE enlarged Addleshaw Goddard will make growth in Aberdeen a priority when it takes over Edinburgh-headquartered law firm HBJ Gateley on June 1.

Currently HBJ Gateley, whose referral relationship with listed English firm Gateley will come to an end on May 31, has offices in Edinburgh and Glasgow as well as Aberdeen, although its Granite City base is home to just three of its 40-plus partners.

HBJ Gateley senior partner Malcolm McPherson, who will become Addleshaw Goddard’s Scotland senior partner when the deal goes live, said one of the main planks of his new role is to look for opportunities that will benefit the firm as a whole.

Loading article content

“Our stated aim is to grow in Scotland and I would hope to take a lead role in that,” he said.

“Aberdeen is a small office and we will be focused very much on recruitment up there. It’s been a difficult time for Aberdeen but it’s important to be represented there.

“With the strength of Addleshaw Goddard in oil and gas and energy work there are going to be increased opportunities based on that.”

Addleshaw Goddard managing partner John Joyce added that the firm as a whole would be identifying a specific list of clients where it would be appropriate to add an Addleshaw Goddard partner to the HBJ Gateley client relationship team or an HBJ Gateley partner to the Addleshaw Goddard team.

“What we will want very early on is for all of us to get to see our most significant clients,” he said.

In addition to Mr McPherson four other HBJ Gateley partners will take a seat on Addleshaw Goddard’s board – corporate partner David Kirchin, finance expert Alan Shanks, real estate specialist Miles Ede and litigator Simon Catto. They will each also assist in the running of their specific practice groups.

English firm Gateley, which has had a referral arrangement with what was Henderson Boyd Jackson since 2006, is now in talks with Anderson Strathern regarding a similar deal.