Legal deal

Drummond Miller and Peacock Johnston merge

Susith Dematagoda and Andrew Pollock of Peacock Johnston with Liesa Spiller and Darren Deery of Drummond Miller

Two Scottish law firms specialising in medical and clinical negligence have announced a merger to create the country’s biggest operator in the sector. 

Peacock Johnston’s team of six Glasgow-based lawyers and five other staff will join the city office of Drummond Miller, which has 14 partners and 100 other employees across five offices, including headquarters in Union Street, Edinburgh.

Ian Hartley, chief operating officer at Drummond Miller, said: “While both firms were already best-known in the medical and clinical negligence arena, this union takes us to an entirely new level.”

Andrew Pollock, a partner at Peacock Johnston since 1993, added: “Beyond the clinical negligence work, this merger will also see us add real heft to Drummond Miller’s Glasgow office in terms of a litigation presence and in family law, employment law and criminal work, particularly in the Sheriff Court.

“It is an excellent match. It is extremely pleasing to be coming together with such a like-minded firm which shares our values and where we can continue to be proudly independent.”

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Drummond Miller is rated as top tier by both Chambers UK and Legal 500.  Peacock Johnston is also highly rated by Chambers UK.

The merger will see Andrew and Susith Dematagoda, an accredited clinical negligence specialist, become partners at Drummond Miller.

Ken Waddell, a partner at Peacock Johnston since 2004 and one of Glasgow’s best known court practitioners, will work as a consultant, bringing his formidable reputation in family, employment and criminal law into the fold. Likewise, Laura Ceresa, an experienced and accredited clinical negligence specialist will also assume a consultant role. 

While the financial details behind the deal remain confidential, the merger will add around 10% to Drummond Miller’s projected annual revenue. In addition, demand from clinical and medical negligence cases is anticipated to grow over the coming months.  

Drummond Miller’s origins date back to the 18th Century, with the firm in its current guise formed in 1991 by the merger of two established Edinburgh firms, Drummond & Company and Pairman, Miller & Murray. 

In 2000 it acquired MacPhail & Co and L&L Lawrence to establish its Glasgow office, while in 2020 it expanded its Musselburgh business by taking over Alex Mitchell & Sons, which traces its history back 130 years. 

It has been involved in many of the leading Scottish medical negligence cases in recent years including one of the longest running birth damage cases in the Court of Session.

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