First female chief appointed to lead Pinsent Masons Scottish operations

Katharine Hardie
Katharine Hardie

Katharine Hardie has been appointed head of law firm Pinsent Masons’ Scottish and Northern Irish operations.

Katharine 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 after graduating in law from Aberdeen University. She will be responsible for leading the firm’s four offices in Aberdeen, Glasgow, Edinburgh, 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.

Aberdeen born Katharine specialises in commercial and residential property development and recently acted for Barclays Bank in its acquisition of a new office campus at Buchanan Wharf in Glasgow, comprising in excess of 450,000 sq ft of new office buildings, where it will create 2500 new jobs for the city.

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.

“Our depth of experience in real estate, energy, M&A, employment, banking and litigation, added to our international reach with an extensive network of global offices and locally based experts, is a strong proposition for Scotland’s outwardly looking business community.

“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.”

Richard Masters added: “I am delighted Katharine is taking on this important role and the firm’s Scotland and Northern Irish business could not be in better hands. On a personal level, I have been fortunate to enjoy a fantastic career with Pinsent Masons and previously McGrigors, and I am now looking forward to taking all the experience I have gained in the legal sector to develop a portfolio career across different business sectors.”

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