Wed 06 Sep 2023

Morton Fraser and MacRoberts to merge in challenge to major independents in Scotland

Two of Scotland’s most prestigious law firms have agreed to merge in a move that will create a new, top-tier independent firm in Scotland.

Two of Scotland’s most prestigious law firms have agreed to merge in a move that will create a new, top-tier independent firm in Scotland.

Morton Fraser and MacRoberts will immediately double in size and scale, entering the ‘top tier’ of Scottish firms. As part of Scotland’s ‘big four’ independent law firms, the newly merged firm will be over 30% larger by turnover than its nearest rival.

Both firms are taking strong commercial performance into the merger, having experienced consistent revenue and profit growth in recent years. The combined firms have delivered revenue growth of almost 20% since 2021, with annual revenues in the region of £46 million.

Chris Harte, currently CEO of Morton Fraser, will become CEO of the newly merged business, Morton Fraser MacRoberts LLP. Neil Kennedy, Managing Partner of MacRoberts, is to become Chief Operating Officer.

Chris Harte said: “The time has come for a new style of law firm within Scotland’s top tier. Morton Fraser and MacRoberts are complementary firms, built on similar values. We are both known for our user-friendly, people-centred approach and those qualities will continue to drive our thinking for the future. By merging, we will compete even more strongly in our chosen markets, while offering something truly unique for the top tier.”

Neil Kennedy added: “This is a great move for our people and our clients. Joining our collective talents and resources will help us to accelerate our growth, offering greater strength in depth and more wide-ranging services to clients. We are committed to excellence at every turn and will be focusing heavily on how our newly merged business can invest in talent and technology. It is an exciting time.”

The newly merged firm’s combined strengths will broaden and deepen the range of services available to clients. It will also be able to offer a wider range of market-leading teams and its increased scale will ensure it can better meet evolving client needs.

Work is now underway to create a new brand identity for the combined business. Subject to regulatory and other approvals, the merger is projected to go live on 1 November 2023.

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