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Weightmans expands in Manchester and launches in Scotland with Semple Fraser deal

Weightmans LLP has continued its expansion with the acquisition of Semple Fraser's Manchester office team and the firm’s first office in Scotland.

Weightmans LLP has continued its ongoing expansion with the acquisition of the Manchester office team of Semple Fraser. At the same time, Weightmans will also be opening in Glasgow - the firm’s first office in Scotland.

Semple Fraser was recognised as a leading commercial law firm, offering advice of the highest quality across a range of areas throughout the UK. The firm opened its doors in Manchester in 2009 and specialised in corporate, real estate, planning and construction.

Weightmans is taking on a 14 strong team from Semple Fraser including three partners - Simon Wallwork, John Hyde and Stuart Macfarlane. The team from Semple Fraser will enhance Weightmans already leading expertise in the retail and construction sectors and add to its growing capabilities in bio science, energy and waste sectors.

Simon Wallwork, based in Manchester, joined Semple Fraser in 2011 from Pannone where he was former Head of the Corporate Department. With over 20 years experience advising on acquisitions, disposals, private equity and public market transactions, for a wide variety of clients including public and private companies, banks, venture capital funds and partnerships.

John Hyde joined Semple Fraser in May 2010, from DLA where he combined the role of head of retail (real estate) with significant involvement in the occupier, investment and development fields. He is based in Manchester and has nearly 25 years experience in the commercial property sector.

Stuart Macfarlane has been with Semple Fraser since 1992 and was the founder Head of the Construction Group. He has extensive experience in both contentious and non-contentious work and has notable successes in conducting arbitrations against Senior Counsel. Weightmans’ new office in Glasgow will initially accommodate Stuart Macfarlane and his construction team.

Said John Schorah at Weightmans:

“We are delighted to add the Semple Fraser Manchester commercial team and their Glasgow construction team to our business. They have a terrific client base and bring more first class talent to our commercial business line

“Our Corporate and Real Estate teams in Manchester are performing very well and this really will complement what we are doing in those areas. It will also bolster our offerings in Manchester for construction, property litigation and planning. Our Construction practice is one of the fastest growing areas in the firm and we are really excited about adding a new team and office doing that in Scotland.

Tom MacLennan, Head of Recovery with RSM Tenon in Scotland, which is managing the administration of Semple Fraser, added:

“We are delighted that Weightmans moved so quickly to complete the acquisition. We wish Weightmans and its new team every success with their expansion plans”.

Weightmans has expanded rapidly in recent years. In 2011 the firm boosted its national presence by merging with Mace & Jones and acquiring the insurance arm of Vizards Wyeth. The firm also achieved record fee income of £77.1 million for the 2011/2012 financial year.

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