Paull & Williamsons LLP announce merger with Burness LLP

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Burness LLP and Paull & Williamsons LLP today [9/10/12] announced that the two commercial law firms will merge in a deal that will see the combined firm have an unparalleled market offering in Scotland.


The merger will come into effect on 1 December 2020 under the new firm name of Burness Paull & Williamsons.

Burness chairman, Philip Rodney said: “The merger will create a firm with established offices of similar size in Aberdeen, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The new firm will hold an unparalleled position in the Scottish legal landscape by virtue of the quality, depth, expertise and balance of its resources across the three cities.

“Paull & Williamsons has long been a dominant force in the North East market. Burness is one of the most highly regarded commercial law firms in the Central Belt. Together we can field deeply resourced teams to service all sectors of the Scottish Economy.“Unlike many of our rivals, both firms have elected not to open a London office. We have instead concentrated on our markets, and succeeded in building a large base of international clients from Scotland.”

Based on 2011-12 figures, the merger between the two firms will create a combined entity with a turnover of £37.6m. Burness Paull & Williamsons will total 400 staff including 60 partners and 158 lawyers, ranking it one of the two largest law firms in terms of turnover and resource in Scotland.

Paull & Williamsons managing partner, Scott Allan said: “Both firms have had several approaches to merge in the past, but it is hard to imagine a better fit. Our culture, ambitions and focus on quality are shared; our geography, clients and expertise are complementary and our combined objective, to be the leading Scottish commercial law firm serving Scottish, UK and international clients in and from Scotland, reflects our common ethos.

“Our international credentials are strong and present significant potential for the merged business. We assist our clients achieve their ambitions, with Norway, Brazil, the Middle East and the US being active markets for the oil & gas team, and the US and Europe having become increasingly important to the Funds and Corporate Finance teams.”

Burness Paull & Williamsons will see Philip Rodney take up the role of Chairman with Ian Wattie named as Managing Partner. Scott Allan will be Deputy Managing Partner and Gordon Buchan will sit on the board as a consultant.

Both firms have performed very strongly despite the difficult market conditions. The exceptional performance of Burness’ Corporate Finance, Funds and Dispute Resolution teams has propelled this growth, achieving almost 25% growth over the last three years.

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