GLASGOW-based law firm MacRoberts has reinstated the role of chairman after a four-year hiatus in a bid to help it achieve its growth ambitions.

Intellectual property specialist Euan Duncan has been appointed to the position after a contested election process and will work alongside managing partner Neil Kennedy and the firm’s management board to implement its strategy.

The last person to hold the role was construction head Neil Kelly, who stood down after a three-year term in 2014.

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Mr Duncan said the decision was taken to reinstate the role of chairman in order to “support our growth vision for the future” after Mr Kennedy replaced John Macmillan as managing partner earlier this year.

Mr Duncan, who will maintain his IP practice during his four-year term as chairman, said one part of the chairmanship would see him focus on “providing a conduit” between the partners and the rest of the firm, while the other would see him focus on client relationships.

“It’s about connecting with our clients but also those that support our business through the firm network and the contacts we have,” he said.

In terms of the firm’s growth plans, Mr Duncan said MacRoberts would be focusing on positioning itself as both a whole of Scotland firm and an international business as a means of driving revenues.

“We are a nationwide firm,” he said. “We’re independent in the sense that we’re not set to join with any other firms; we’re not set to be taken over or subsumed or merged with.

“We do see ourselves as nationwide and our business extends outside the Central Belt.

“We want to be seen as a UK firm for international businesses, not just as a Scottish firm. As far as corporate and banking activity is concerned we have a huge opportunity to attract international business.

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“I’d like to see the firm grow beyond the size it is at the moment and we have exciting plans for organic growth but also for lateral hires and diversification as well.”

The firm’s turnover has hovered around the £17-18 million mark for the past several years, but earlier this year Mr Kennedy said his aim is to grow it to around £20-25m.

At just under £5m, in 2016/17 MacRoberts’ profits fell to their lowest level since the firm converted to a limited liability partnership a decade ago. While it is yet to publish its 2017/18 accounts, the firm said that turnover and profit were both up.