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Addleshaw to acquire Scottish offices in HBJ split

Malcolm McPherson

Malcolm McPhersonLaw firm HBJ Gateley is to be split up with Addleshaw Goddard in talks to acquire the three offices and partners in Scotland.

The relationship between the two firms will end in May next year.

The Scottish business, which has offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, is affiliated to Gateley but is an independent business headed by senior partner Malcolm McPherson (pictured).

It was not included in the stock market flotation of Gateley in June 2015 when it became the first UK law firm to go public.

HBJ Gateley in Scotland remains a limited liability partnership as legal firms in Scotland are not able to obtain external investment.

Addleshaw Goddard is understood to be in talks to take on the three offices, in a move that would resolve its long search for a partner north of the border.


Merger talks between the firm and Maclay Murray & Spens were called off in February.

HBJ Gateley posted revenue of £21.6m in 2015-16, compared to Addleshaws’ 2015-16 revenue of £201.8m.

Gateley was established in 2006 after a merger between Gateley Wareing in Birmingham and Edinburgh firm Henderson Boyd Jackson.

The firm now includes eight offices outside Scotland, with one based in the Middle East (Dubai) and the rest in England, including headquarters in London.

In a joint statement, HBJ Gateley and Gateley said: “Gateley in England and HBJ Gateley in Scotland have announced today that their longstanding business relationship will come to an end in May next year. Until then, both firms will continue to work together in the best interests of all clients.”

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