5 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Corporate law firm McC…

5 September – LAWFUEL – The Law News Network – Corporate law firm McClure Naismith has announced a five year plan that aims to triple turnover and double staffing of its banking and asset finance unit.

Launched five years ago the banking and asset finance unit has grown rapidly to three partners, 24 staff and an annual turnover approaching £2m for the last financial year. The five year plan forecasts turnover rising to nearly £6m with staffing of nearly 50, including 7 partners.

A key component in this next chapter of development is the appointment of a new ‘heavyweight’ banking partner, Patrick Bell. Bell joins the firm’s Edinburgh office from the banking / capital markets practice of Magic Circle firm Linklaters where latterly he was a partner and head of the finance team in their Warsaw office.

Bell, originally from Edinburgh, is an experienced practitioner in the realms of banking, structured finance, debt / equity and capital markets in the UK and internationally having trained and worked with Linklaters for the past 14 years. He has also worked on a wide range of corporate finance transactions, fund raising, due diligence and restructuring projects. He will work closely with John Blackwood to implement the five year plan, develop new service lines and drive growth across McClures’ three UK offices.

“From a standing start, the firm is making serious inroads into the banking and financial services sectors” said John Blackwood, Head of the Banking and Asset Finance Unit, ‘We are now attaining a momentum that positions us as a more than credible alternative to Scotland’s Big Five, and also some of the medium players in the UK’s largest banking market, London.”

Robin Shannan, head of the firm’s London office and a banking and asset finance partner, added: “Patrick is a key appointment and will help to develop the profile of the firm across the UK, in particular in London. He brings a broad range of valuable skills and experience and is an excellent fit for our practice. Our team are very much looking forward to working with Patrick”

Patrick Bell commented: “I was impressed at the pace of growth and the down to earth approach that pervades every aspect of McClures’ operations. It is an exciting opportunity and I’m looking forward to the challenge.”

The banking unit was launched in March 2000 when the firm recruited John Blackwood (formerly Director of Legal Services at the Bank of Scotland) with a brief to focus the Firm’s existing banking reputation and establish a full service banking practice. From the outset a partnering strategy has been adopted with a view to establishing strong and sustainable relationships with a small number of key banking clients. The practice has focused on winning work, servicing clients in a discrete and efficient manner and all the while, evolving its strategy and staff to meet the demands of a fiercely competitive marketplace.

John Blackwood added: “One strand to our success has been and remains the ability to attract and retain high quality staff. Fortunately, we have been able to do just that, by offering a viable alternative to the Big 5 firms and at the same time creating an energetic and ambitious environment. This appeals to the staff and at the same time seems to suit our client base as well.”

Robin Shannan concluded: “The approach to date has paid dividends. Patrick’s arrival marks the start of an exciting new phase for the whole banking team. We have the focus and energy to meet the challenges that lie ahead in this sector.”

McClure Naismith recently returned a strong set of results, with turnover rising 10% to over £12m. Later this year the firm will be relocating its Edinburgh office to brand new purpose-built premises in the heart of Edinburgh’s new financial district.

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