Estate agency expert lands plum new role with exciting law firm

by Scott Douglas

Monday, September 22nd, 2003

New property manager at PSM Law Group earns valuable property PR

Gary Middlemass of PSM Law Group in legal PR photo

GARY Middlemass (pictured above) has been appointed Property Manager with Hunters-psm Solicitor and Estate Agents, part of the PSM Law Group.

The move is the latest major appointment to further strengthen the growing reputation of the property division at PSM Law Group, one of Scotland’s most dynamic legal firms.

Last month the firm announced it had tempted Brain Warner, one of Edinburgh’s most respected solicitors, to join its ranks, a move which saw him walk away from the legal and estate agency firm which he founded almost 30 years ago and which still carries his name.

Gary, 42, will join Property Director Matthew Gray (pictured below) in Hunters-psm’s Morningside office, in building the firm’s position as one of the capital’s “Big Six” legal-estate agency firms in the booming Edinburgh property market.

Property PR photo of Matthew Gray of PSM Law Group

The appointments of Brian Warner and Gary Middlemass now gives Hunters-psm an unrivalled depth of property knowledge and expertise across two fronts – estate agency and legal/conveyancing.

Brian Warner’s knowledge and expertise is already paying dividends as he has joined forces with fellow partner Wilson Hunter, another stalwart of Edinburgh’s property and legal scene, who ran his own property company, Hunter’s, before joining the PSM Law Group earlier this year. Both men were instrumental in setting up the hugely successful Edinburgh and Lothians Property Guide (ELPG) last year.

Wilson Hunter said: “In Gary and Matt, we now have two of the best guys in the business working side-by-side and with our other key appointment of Brian Warner and our existing experienced staff, it all points to us having one of the best property teams there is.

“I can’t think of any other legal firm that has two such big names in estate agency.  When I tell people we managed to headhunt Gary, they automatically assume we must have lost Matt and brought Gary in as a replacement. When I tell them we actually have them both you see their chins hit the floor. I can’t over-emphasise what a big appointment this is.”

Gary Middlemass of PSM Law Group in legal PR photoGary, a Fellow of the National Association of Estate Agents, who lives in Edinburgh with his wife and three children, said: “Having two legal partners of the stature of Wilson and Brian is amazing enough. They are both giants of the Edinburgh property scene and individually they have the kind of contacts anybody would envy.

“In estate agency terms Matthew Gray carries the same kind of respect and I am delighted to be working alongside him. It is a huge privilege to be working with people of this calibre and I am sure I can also bring a lot to the mix.”

In Edinburgh, the property market is dominated by solicitors, who use the ESPC property guide at the expense of estate agents, who cannot advertise in the guide and have to find other ways to market their properties.

Matthew Gray said: “The ESPC caters for 92 per cent of the market and is dominated by solicitor-estate agents. The majority of solicitor-estate agents just put the property in the ESPC and hope for the best. As far as we are concerned that’s not estate agency – we are far more pro-active.

Property PR photo of Matthew Gray of PSM Law Group

“For instance we have someone in our office who does nothing but keep our mailing list up-to-date and working efficiently, sending out details of what’s coming on the market to all our customers.

“We also have a dedicated call-back service where we contact everyone who has visited one of our properties to find out their thoughts. That way we can quickly identify – and sort out – any problems which might prevent a property selling quickly or achieving its best possible price.”

Both Matthew and Gary are particularly focussed on developing their standing as one of the handful of key estate agents invited to deal with the most exclusive properties in Edinburgh.

Matt added: “If people are selling at the top end of the market they will probably contact two or three of those names. And we will be the solicitor-estate agent they get in touch with because we have earned an extremely good profile.

“One of our targets is to get even more into that market because we know we can offer as good, if not better service than the other firms – and we have the added bonus of getting into the ESPC. Of course, we also cater for all other areas of the market.”

Gary Middlemass of PSM Law Group in legal PR photoBefore joining Hunters-psm, Gary was with Lindsays WS as Property Manager. There he successfully rebranded the property department as “Lindsay Residential” and the company has just enjoyed its best year ever.

The Aberdeen University graduate started his career with Bernard Thorpe and Partners (now DTZ) and also spent time with Dunfermline-based Macbeth Currie and Co in Dunfermline and was formerly Property Manager with the Morgan Law Partnership.

Hunters-psm also has a thriving Fife office overseen by the hugely experienced, Dunfermline-based property director Joyce Allan, who has been with PSM for 10 years and is a member of the National Association of Estate Agents.

The success of the property wing is being reflected across the PSM Law Group.  Although established only 13 years ago, the PSM Law Group is enjoying rapid growth, due in the main to its philosophy of building a dynamic legal practice combining the best of traditional values with modern business solutions.

The company recently underwent a major reorganisation to focus on the development of its four main divisions, Hunters-PSM; PSM On-Line, which provides fast and efficient volume conveyancing services in the booming re-mortgages market, acting for many of the UK’s leading lenders; PSM Legal, handling residential conveyancing, including the contract for the Scottish Executive’s Mortgage to Rent scheme; and PSM Wills, which provides a complete executry service, including a unique on-line wills service.

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