BOLTON-based Keoghs is the latest English law firm to enter the Scottish market after hiring a partner from Harper Macleod and three lawyers from Brodies.
The firm, which specialises in defending insurance claims, has opened a base on Glasgow’s West Regent Street with Harper Macleod partner Douglas Cowan and Stefanie Johnston from Brodies joining as launch partners. Brodies lawyers David Hennessy and Emily Jeffrey will join as partners in May.
Mr Cowan said Keoghs, which opened a London base earlier this year, had looked to do the same in Scotland because insurance clients are increasingly looking for advisers that can cover the whole of the UK.
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“In the market I’m in – insurance litigation – insurers are expecting a UK-wide offering now from their legal suppliers,” he said.
He added that he had been attracted to the firm because it has chosen to enter the market as a start-up rather than by taking over an existing firm.
“We’re not going in with any legacy or a risk of a clash of cultures,” he said. “This way we’re able to make our own culture.”
Mr Cowan added that while Keoghs focuses on insurance litigation the Glasgow base will cover a wide range of specialisms. His main focus is personal injury, Ms Johnston’s is shipping, transport and leisure, Ms Jeffrey’s is road traffic and Mr Hennessy’s is health and safety.
Other insurance-focused English firms that have made a similar move in recent times include Clyde & Co, which in 2015 took over Simpson & Marwick, and TLT, which took over Anderson Fyfe in 2012.