A leading property lawyer has been appointed head of law firm Pinsent Masons’ Scottish and Northern Irish operations.
Katharine Hardie takes over the role of Chair of Scotland and Northern Ireland from Richard Masters, 29 years to the day since she joined the firm as a trainee lawyer in 1990. She will be responsible for leading the firm’s four offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast and approximately 600 partners, lawyers and support staff.
After spending his entire 32 year law career with McGrigors, which merged with Pinsent Masons in 2012, Richard Masters has decided to step down to pursue other business opportunities out with the legal profession. In 2009 as Managing Partner of McGrigors he was a driving force in its merger with the pre-eminent Northern Irish firm l'Estrange & Brett.
Katharine Hardie specialises in commercial and residential property development and recently acted for Barclays Bank in its acquisition of a major new office campus at Buchanan Wharf in Glasgow.
The first female to be appointed to the pivotal role within the global law firm, Katharine said: “While I am sorry to see my long term colleague Richard go, I am looking forward to leading Pinsent Masons in Scotland and Northern Ireland and consolidating our market leading position as the pre-eminent legal and professional services firm.
“The profession is changing and being good lawyers is no longer enough. We need to focus hard on bringing a wide range of disciplines to help address our clients requirements. Equally, we need to continue to foster an inclusive culture which allows us to attract and retain the very best talent, and give it a global stage upon which to perform.
“All law firms are facing up to the challenges of uncertainty in the business community centred around Brexit, but the strength of our brand and our early adoption of smart technologies and AI techniques which have introduced greater efficiency for our clients, means we are well placed to make the best of opportunities as they present themselves.”
Head of the Belfast Office Andrea McIlroy-Rose said: “Richard's contribution in strengthening our position in Northern Ireland has been tremendous and he has been incredibly supportive in his role of Chair of Scotland & NI. I have worked closely with Katharine for some years as part of the property team and she will be a great asset in this role. I am proud that her appointment demonstrates once again that Pinsent Masons is at the forefront of driving diversity within senior leadership positions in the legal profession.”