Talks over legal tie-up

Morton Fraser and MacRoberts in merger speculation

chris-harteScottish law firms Morton Fraser and MacRoberts are understood to have held merger talks.

The two practices are mid-sized with offices and clients across the Central Belt. Morton Fraser, which also has an office in London, is a top ten firm in Scotland.

Chris Harte (pictured), chief executive of Morton Fraser, said: “Like most firms in our sector, we regularly have exploratory discussions with third parties around a wide range of potential opportunities.  

“We don’t, however, comment on speculation regarding any such conversations which may take place from time to time.”

MacRoberts said in a statement: “At any point we are in conversation with a number of individuals, teams and firms and it would be inappropriate to make any comment on the existence or otherwise of any such conversations.”

Morton Fraser has increased revenues by 42% in the last three years, hitting £19.37 million in annual billings for the year to April 2016.

This represents a 7% year on year increase and is above the average rate of growth of the UK’s top ten law firms. It expects to break the £20m benchmark in 2016/17.

Profits increased by 8.5% from last year, reaching £7m. All employees will share in Morton Fraser’s profit growth as its performance-related bonus scheme will reward staff with up to 10% of their annual salary.

It now has more than 260, partners, solicitors and other staff.

MacRoberts has 99 fee earners and 44 partners. For the year to the end of April 2016, turnover rose by 10% to £19.78m.

Profits were up 12% to £6.9m and the firm’s headcount increased by 12% across its three offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee.

Recent client wins or re-appointments included Breedon Group, City of Edinburgh Council, Fife College, C S Wind, Perth & Kinross Council and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service.


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