Gilson Gray makes senior appointment

by Chris Fairbairn

Friday, August 5th, 2016

Gilson Gray PR legal photography

SCOTLAND’S fastest growing, full service legal firm has set its sights on nation-wide expansion of its Real Estate team, following the appointment of senior expert, Gregor Duthie.

Joining from DWF (formerly Biggart Baillie), where he spent more than 13 years, Duthie will join as an Associate and will work primarily from Gilson Gray’s Glasgow office.

Duthie was the leading Associate in the Scottish Real Estate Finance team at DWF – a top 20 UK nationwide law firm – and the appointment represents another significant scalp for Gilson Gray who, since their ground breaking launch in 2014, have cherry picked talent from many of the country’s largest firms.

Duthie is also a prodigious musician, having performed at the BBC proms at the Royal Albert Hall and also serves as an Artistic Director at Glasgow Music Theatre.

Gregor said: “I thoroughly enjoyed my time at DWF and I am appreciative of the opportunities it gave me to develop my skills, client understanding and reputation, working on top international and domestic projects.

“It would always take something exceptional to make me consider leaving after 13 years – and in Gilson Gray I believe I have found just that.

Energy and talent

“There is a real energy here, the firm is new – and yet for a legal business of its age boasts the talent to match the biggest entities out there.

“After the downturn, when so many Scottish firms sought solace with mergers, or broke up entirely, it left a real gap in the market. Gilson Gray has filled that gap and its success since launching is testament to its level of service.”

Duthie is one of only 13 solicitors accredited by the prestigious WS Society (The Society of Writers to HM Signet) for commercial property work, and is recognised for his ability to handle complex legal matters and his ability to understand a client’s perspective.

Partner and Head of Real Estate at Gilson Gray, Murray Stewart, (formerly Head of Real Estate at Eversheds Scotland) believes Duthie’s appointment signals the firm’s nationwide ambition and intent.

He said: “Having worked across the table from Gregor on various occasions, I know the high level that he works at, his professionalism and commercial nous.

“We were at the stage where we needed to bring in a senior appointment, to handle our growing list of clients but also to give us scope to manage our service offering across Scotland. Having Gregor in Glasgow will give us the balance and depth of talent to do just that.”

Ambition and service

As well as acting for leading London and international investment funds, Duthie has been involved in the funding, acquisition and development of various residential new-build and conversion programmes, including acting for Close Brothers Ltd in funding the redevelopment by Chris Stewart Group of Advocate’s Close in Edinburgh’s UNESCO designated old town heritage area. This was later voted project of the year 2015 by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors.

High-Achieving Scottish Law Firm are celebrating an impressive double nomination at this year’s Scottish Business AwardsGlen Gilson (pictured left), Managing Partner at Gilson Gray, said: “From day one we have tried to ensure that the business is balanced between Glasgow and Edinburgh, but also that our ambition and service range is known throughout Scotland and indeed further afield.

“Gregor has outstanding credentials. It will be exciting to watch the development of the Real Estate team as they further our influence and reputation in the sector.

“The unusual level of talent in our Firm is the reason for the success of the business. Gregor embodies that and already we have received extremely positive feedback from large institutional clients and Banks in respect of his appointment. Empathetic, commercially capable and technically excellent talent drives client service, which is the most important element of the picture.

“We are also extremely grateful for the confidence and support we have enjoyed from our client base and the wider Scottish business community.

“I would actively encourage the nation’s top talent to get in touch with us, as we look at further opportunities to expand across our range of services.”

Bucking industry trends of cutbacks and mergers, Gilson Gray now boasts one of the largest service capabilities in the country. The firm has recently taken on more office space in both regions and has clearly signalled its intent to expand further in the coming year.

It has secured a number of high profile personnel both since launch and during the last 12 months – including the appointment of Deborah McCathie as a Partner and Head of Residential Conveyancing, along with her team from Warners LLP, as well as the entire Commercial Litigation team from Morisons LLP.

In 2014, Gilson Gray opened as the largest full service law firm launch in Scottish legal history, with a portfolio of talent poached from the leading firms in Scotland –opening simultaneously in Glasgow and Edinburgh with a radical client-focus strategy that offers a cost effective alternative to the top ten firms in the country.

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Chris Fairbairn of Scottish public relations agency, Holyrood PR in Edinburgh

Chris Fairbairn

Chris Fairbairn is a PR account manager with award-winning public relations agency Holyrood Partnership. He is part of an expert PR team delivering PR services to a wide range of clients from headquarters in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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