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End of an era at Brodies as Drummond steps down after 20 years

5 January 2018

Bill Drummond, who has steered Brodies' growth to become the largest Scottish-headquartered legal firm, is to step down as managing partner after 20 years. 

Brodies announced today that real estate partner Nick Scott has been elected to succeed Mr Drummond as managing partner, following the end of the firm’s current financial year on 30 April. 

Mr Drummond trained with Brodies in 1980, and became a partner in the firm in 1986. He was first elected managing partner in 1997, and has subsequently been re-elected six times. During his 20 years in office the firm has grown from a business of approximately 175 people trading from a single office in Edinburgh, to employing 616 people across four offices, in Aberdeen, Brussels, Edinburgh and Glasgow, and in the year to April 2017 posted audited accounts showing turnover of £66.7m. 

Mr Scott trained with Clifford Chance in London, joining Brodies in 1999 and becoming a partner in 2001. A tier one ranked real estate lawyer, he has been a member of the firm’s strategic and operational boards since 2004. Since 2010 he has been head of the real estate practice. In his time as head of practice, real estate turnover has doubled.

“It has been a terrific privilege to work with so many talented people for the best part of four decades", Mr Drummond commented. "Brodies has always placed clients first in both our business planning and our work on their behalf and that has also allowed us to make a contribution to the Scottish economy of which we can all be proud. I am extremely pleased that Nick will be taking things forward with a clear vision of how Brodies can continue to develop as a business founded on that client-first agenda.”

Mr Scott responded: “I have worked closely with Bill for over a decade. He has been recognised repeatedly as one of the leading law firm managers of his generation in the UK. It is therefore with pride, and an appropriate degree of humility, that I take on this new role within our firm. My immediate priority will be to focus on the things which have earned this firm its reputation under Bill’s leadership. Those include continued investment in market leading services relevant to the Scottish economy, recruiting and developing the best people in all roles across our offices and ensuring Brodies remains the best place in Scotland for lawyers to give, and for clients to receive, top quality legal advice. As a business we remain proud of both our Scottish roots and of our international reach, and optimistic about the opportunities ahead for well-run independent law firms.”

Brodies’ chairman, Christine O’Neill, added: “In overseeing our election process this summer our board has been keen to ensure that Bill’s successor as our managing partner retained the same ambition for our clients and our people that Bill has brought to every board and partners’ meeting for the past 20 years. Nick has that same approach and his extensive involvement in our strategic and operational management, coupled with his track record of success for clients and development of partners and staff made him the ideal candidate. In November, I chaired our triennial conference at which we finalised our strategic plan for the 2018-21 period developed over the autumn – that ambition was evident across the partnership and we are all looking forward to working with Nick as we take it forward over what promises to be another interesting period for our economy and one full of opportunities as well as challenges for our clients.”

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