Member of the Week - Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP
Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP (WJM) is a full-service, independent Scottish law firm, with a history stretching back 165 years.
Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP was established in Glasgow in 1854 by Thomas Grieve Wright and George Smith. Alexander Johnston joined the practice in 1866, and in 1869 Dr James Mackenzie joined the firm. Since then, we have been called Wright, Johnston & Mackenzie LLP.
In 1986, the firm opened an Edinburgh office through the acquisition of Haldanes, McLaren & Scott WS, and over the years other businesses have been assumed to help us better serve the needs of the wider Scottish business and private client communities.
2011 saw us opening our third office, this time in Inverness, allowing us to capitalise on the rapidly expanding economy in the north of Scotland, and in 2016 we merged with the established Inverness firm MacArthur & Co to strengthen our presence in the area.
In May 2017 we merged with BMK Wilson, expanding our operation in Glasgow and giving us a fourth office in Dunblane. The merger added to our plans to strengthen and grow our key areas of Private Client, Commercial Property, Corporate and Dispute Resolution, whilst giving us geographical reach into Perthshire. We also took on the business of Robertson & Co in Kingussie, further strengthening our Highland practice.
Also in 2017 we were invited to join Geneva Group International, the world's largest network of independent legal and multi-disciplinary firms, which has enabled us to deliver benefits to our clients whenever they find themselves doing business outside of Scotland.
In December 2018, we strengthened our East Coast practice by merging with CCW Business Lawyers, giving us a fifth office in Dunfermline, allowing us to strengthen our national footprint and better serve the needs of Scottish businesses and private client communities, particularly in key areas such as commercial property and corporate.
In 2019 our Inverness office announced significant growth with seven new recruits in the Private Client sector and an office expansion, broadening the firm’s service offering, with staff numbers rising from 18 to 25, with the premises extending to almost 3,000sqft. We also appointed a new legal director in Inverness, heading up WJM’s construction team and acquired the clients of Calum Duncan Corporate Lawyers following his retirement.
Throughout our history, we have led through client service. Being a Client-centric practice, means that everything we do is to serve our clients best, by putting them at the centre of everything we do.
Angus MacLeod is the lead Partner at WJM Inverness and is an award-winning corporate & commercial lawyer. He enjoys helping clients set up, grow, buy and sell businesses. He also has particular expertise in commercial contracts, intellectual property, franchising and IT. Angus advises a wide range of clients, including numerous family businesses. Brought up in Inverness, Angus joined WJM in 1998 and has been a partner since 2005. He is a native Gaelic speaker with Hebridean roots. Outside of WJM he enjoys time with his young family, sings with Inverness Gaelic Choir, and is Chair of the Board of Sabhal Mòr Ostaig, the National Centre for Gaelic Language and Culture.
WJM has grown substantially in the Inverness area over the last few years, with the merger in 2016 with McArthur & Co and the acquisition of the clients of Robertson & Co in 2017. This year we acquired the clients of Calum Duncan Corporate Lawyers following his retirement and announced significant growth with seven new recruits in the Private Client sector and an office expansion, broadening the firm’s service offering, with staff numbers rising from 18 to 25 while the premises have been extended to almost 3,000sqft. We also appointed a new legal director in Inverness, heading up WJM’s construction team.
Angus MacLeod, lead partner at WJM’s Inverness office, said the move marked a significant step in developing the firm’s service offering, with the combined skillset of these new additions to the team giving us one of the strongest private client teams in the Highlands, as well as a key enhancement to our commercial property team in the shape of a local construction law expert.
The opportunity to be member of the Week will let us promote and share our complete range of services and expertise to the wider Chamber community. Our aim is to continue to innovate in legal services to better serve our clients throughout the Highlands and we feel this opportunity will help us to showcase that.
WJM delivers joined-up legal advice to business owners who need both commercial advice for their businesses and personal advice for themselves and their families. We are Scotland’s leading law firm for family-owned businesses with a long pedigree in helping these businesses succeed across generations. We also have expertise in tackling complex estate planning work which few others in the Highlands can do.
We have invested recently in our ability to deliver complex private client and estate planning work from our Inverness office, and also planning work, which is an essential service for our clients who invest and deal in commercial property or are looking at property development. We have also developed our rural property and business services too.
Team members are recommended by both Chambers Guide and the Legal 500. We are listed as a leading firm in Scotland for several areas of our work, including those in the Highlands. We were also invited to join the Geneva Group International, a network of high-quality independent professional services firms throughout the world. As the only Scottish legal firm in the network we are able to offer our clients unparalleled access to local advice right across the globe.
WJM told Inverness Chamber what they value most about membership: The opportunities it affords us to network and grow our contacts. We get to network with fellow members and attend events both socially and professionally. There are so many tools available to help develop and grow your business, and the team at the Chamber are always on hand to help.
WJM gave their top-tip to make the most of membership: Take the time to attend and support Chamber events and look at the opportunities afforded by them. Keynote events like the Highland Business Dinner are consistently high quality, and the smaller more regular events give an opportunity to network with new people and established contacts alike.