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Harper Macleod announces major expansion as private client specialists Bird Semple join up

Harper Macleod, one of Scotland's leading law firms, has announced a major expansion by joining forces with private client solicitors Bird Semple in a move that will create one of Scotland's largest private client practices.

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The move sees the firm, Legal Advisers to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, grow by around 10%, create a combined turnover of more than £23 million, and extend its full service offering.

Bird Semple, which traces its history back to 1845, is regarded as Glasgow's leading boutique private client firm and recorded turnover of £2.1 million in its most recent financial results.

From 1 September, around 35 partners, lawyers and staff will combine with Harper Macleod's existing private client team at the firm's Glasgow headquarters, creating the largest private client department in the west of Scotland.

Harper Macleod, which is already one of Scotland's top five law firms by number of fee earners, has just completed a major refurbishment programme at its headquarters in The Ca'd'oro building on Gordon Street, increasing its office space by almost 15% to accommodate its growth plans.

Bird Semple currently provides asset and wealth management advice to private clients in the business and professional communities, specialising in helping clients acquire, manage, safeguard and pass on their family wealth.

Specialist services include Wills, Trusts and Succession, Asset Protection, Personal Taxation, Wealth Management, AgeCare, and Land and Property.

The new combined private client team of six partners will work closely with our other teams to provide a comprehensive range of legal services for individuals, including Asset and Wealth Management, Family Law, Employment, Residential Conveyancing, Personal Injury and Medical Negligence, Charitable Giving, Civil Litigation and Agriculture & Estates.

Professor Lorne Crerar, Chairman of Harper Macleod, said: "This is one of the most significant developments in our firm's history, and yet another statement of our ambition to make Harper Macleod the leading law firm in the country. Bird Semple has an incredibly strong brand and reputation in this field, and we are absolutely delighted to welcome its Partners and staff to the firm.

"Last year we announced our intention to significantly expand the firm and we have delivered on that promise. We have been consistent in our strategy to grow organically, extending our service offering by attracting the very best lawyers in areas where we see potential for growth. Bird Semple operate in different sectors and provide advice in different areas to those of our existing private client offering

"We've seen increasing demand from our clients for sophisticated legal services for individuals and their families, particularly relating to asset and wealth management. The opportunity to bring in the specialist knowledge Bird Semple has always been renowned for was something that makes perfect sense to all involved, and will provide added value to our combined clients."

Frank Fletcher, Managing Partner of Bird Semple, said: "This is a positive and exciting development for our clients, partners and staff. The last few years have ushered in a period of significant change in the legal profession. Looking to the future, we believe that the interests of our clients are best served by combining our own specialist expertise with that of colleagues in another strong and successful firm in Scotland.

"Harper Macleod is just such a firm, having been successful in many diverse areas of legal practice. The firm is keen to develop its private client service offering to meet a growing demand from its existing and expanding client base. This move will enable us to continue to provide the same high standards Bird Semple has always been renowned for, while giving our clients in-house access to a range of other relevant legal services, all within a firm which has proven to be one of the best managed law firms in Scotland."