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Harper Macleod expands into Moray with Elgin merger

12 June 2019

Harper Macleod has announced its expansion into Moray after acquiring the business of one of the area's oldest legal practices, Wink & Mackenzie.

Partners Ian Davidson and Lauren Wright will be joined by Wink & Mackenzie's 15-strong staff in becoming part of Harper Macleod from 2 September, adding to the firm's existing offices in Inverness, Thurso, Lerwick, Glasgow and Edinburgh. Current Wink & Mackenzie partner Damian Marinello will also join Harper Macleod as a consultant.

The move is expected to add a seven-figure sum to Harper Macleod's overall turnover, with the firm's headcount numbering around 400 people across Scotland. Harper Macleod already acts for a significant number of clients in Moray, and was also recently appointed to the panel of law firms from which Moray Council will seek external legal advice.

Wink & Mackenzie's practice has a strong focus on providing residential property, estate agency and personal legal services, including family law and wills, trusts and executries, as well as commercial and dispute resolution advice. The firm will retain its Elgin premises and in Moray will initially operate as Harper Macleod incorporating Wink & Mackenzie.

Ian Davidson of Wink & Mackenzie said he was delighted to join forces with one of Scotland's leading law firms. He commented: "Our firms have had a strong working relationship for some time and we already know that we're a good match in terms of our ethos and the way we do business. It's also important to us and to our clients that we remain in the same location with the same ethos. We want to deliver and develop the very best legal and estate agency services for our clients here in Moray in the long term and as part of Harper Macleod we'll be able to continue what we're already doing and also offer much more.

"The team at Harper Macleod already know the area well and being part of one of the country's best legal brands will give our existing and new clients access to a greater range of expertise and specialist advice than we alone can provide currently."

Martin Darroch, chief executive of Harper Macleod, explained the strategy behind the firm extending its office network in the Highlands and Islands. He said: "Since we established a Highland presence back in 2004, Moray has been a very important area for us and somewhere we know very well. As the leading full service legal brand in the Highlands and Islands, the possibility of creating a permanent presence here is something we've been considering for some time and taking the opportunity to bring on board our friends at Wink & Mackenzie is a natural step to take.

"Moray is home to some of Scotland's leading businesses and has a thriving economy, particularly in areas such as food and drink, manufacturing, tourism and, of course, energy and natural resources. There are fantastic opportunities and Harper Macleod has the specialist knowledge and depth of resource to help businesses and organisations here make the most of those, as well as advising local individuals and families on all their legal needs.

"I am confident that the Moray economy is going to grow and grow and we are excited about being a part of that."

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