Gillespie Macandrew eye growth with new chairman and chief executive appointments



Murray Shaw
Murray Shaw

Law firm Gillespie Macandrew has announced major changes to its leadership team, with Murray Shaw becoming chairman and Chris West taking over as chief executive from Ian Turnbull.

Mr Turnbull will step down from his role as managing partner at the end of the month.

Joining Shaw and West on the new five-person board will be John McArthur (Head of Tax), Robert Scott-Dempster (Head of Land and Rural Business) and Mike Blair, a partner based in the firm’s Perth office, also in Land and Rural Business.

The significant changes in the firm’s strategic leadership follows on from recent announcements about the opening of Gillespie Macandrew’s new office in Glasgow and strong 2014/15 financial results.

Chris West
Chris West

Mr Shaw, an accredited specialist in planning and construction, joined the firm in 2014. He had previously been a partner with Biggart Baillie for 27 years, latterly having been senior partner and chairman.

Breaking with the tradition of many Scottish law firms, Mr West will be the firm’s first chief executive.

A non-lawyer, he joined the firm as chief operating officer in 2013 having held a number of senior financial and general management posts in a variety of sectors including legal practices, the NHS and other commercial businesses.

Gillespie Macandrew said the new-look Board and chief executive have been appointed to drive the strategy required to achieve its recently announced intention to focus on significant growth and development of the business.

Mr Shaw said: “I have long felt that Gillespie Macandrew is a firm which punches way above its weight and I am very excited to play a central role in its continuing growth.  I am very much looking forward to working with my colleagues on the new board and, in particular, with Chris West. He brings a sharply tuned commercial perspective into play and our ambition to grow is underlined by his appointment.

“I also want to pay tribute to Ian Turnbull, our long-serving Managing Partner. Ian has overseen several major acquisitions and mergers in the business, and has managed the firm carefully through the recent recession and the successful growth and disposal of the investment arm in 2011.

The firm recently advised its staff of the intention to lead its growth and development from within and is seeking to bring a number of staff forward into senior and partner roles over the next two to three years, as well as making a small number of key strategic appointments from outside of the firm. It currently has offices in Edinburgh, Perth and Glasgow.