By Ian McConnell

MAJOR UK law firm Shoosmiths has declared its intention to expand further in Scotland after taking permanent office space in the heart of Glasgow’s innovation district.

Shoosmiths will lease around 5,000 sq ft of space on the fifth floor of The Garment Factory – a restored historic city centre building on Montrose Street.

It noted that other tenants include broadcaster Channel 4, digital transformation firm Incremental Group, and software firm AutoRek.

Office design company Claremont has been instructed by Shoosmiths on the fit-out, with the law firm planning to open the office in October this year, “subject to any Scottish Government Covid -19 guidance”.

The firm has been based at 1 West Regent Street in Glasgow since September 2019, noting it had “serviced clients and developed a strong pipeline of new business from a small agile working hub”.

It highlighted a raft of senior hires from rival firms in the last 18 months.

And it flagged plans to expand its Glasgow operation with further hires.

Barry McKeown, partner and the newly appointed head of Shoosmiths’ Glasgow office, said: “Shoosmiths’ decision to expand its footprint in Glasgow with office space at The Garment Factory is a direct result of the significant upturn in business we have developed in the west of Scotland since opening a small hub in the city centre 18 months ago.

“It’s a very positive step and one that also reflects feedback from within our existing client base in the west who have highlighted the benefits of establishing a larger, permanent presence within the steadily transforming landscape of Scotland’s largest city. Importantly, we know Glasgow has a huge pool of legal talent who can service clients in Scotland and the whole of the UK, and we believe Shoosmiths is a place they’d like to work, given the calibre of work, people and culture.”

Janette Speed, Shoosmiths’ head of Scotland, said: “We have a clear vision of where we want to go in Glasgow, building on the excellent reputation the firm already has across Scotland and wider UK. We are intent on increasing our market share in Scotland and beyond, building on the strong foundations established through our presence in the capital. Glasgow will help us push on with our strategy for further sustained growth delivering real strength and depth across key commercial sectors.

“As Shoosmiths continues its expansion in Scotland and moves robustly forward following the challenging lockdown period, we will continue to seek out quality legal talent who will add to our head count in key practice areas in both Glasgow and Edinburgh.”

Shoosmiths’ clients include Glasgow City Council, Watkins Jones, Bellway Homes, Sigma Capital Partners, Robertson Homes, Pernod Ricard, Amey, and Graham’s The Family Dairy.