Legal firm renews its ties with family law after five-year absence

David Coutts, Head of Family Law at Simpson & Marwick

Simpson & Marwick spearheads growth with key appointment

A RENOWNED legal firm has made its first foray into family law in five years with a key appointment to launch its new department.

David Coutts, a lawyer with almost a decade of experience, has been appointed the new Head of Family Law at Simpson & Marwick.

A specialist in separation, divorce, cohabitation, and child-related matters, David has exclusively practiced family law since qualification and will play a significant part in the firm’s expansion as it broadens the range of services available to clients.

The Edinburgh-based lawyer joins from top ranked family law firm Turcan Connell where he was Head of their Glasgow team. Prior to this, he qualified and spent eight years at Anderson Strathern.

Now, the Accredited Specialist in Child Law is relishing the opportunity to lead the family law department of Simpson & Marwick, one of the most trusted names in the capital since 1886.

David, 33, said: “Simpson & Marwick has a fantastic client base and for a long time was synonymous with family law in Scotland. I very much hope that will be the case again in the not-too-distant future.

“The firm is definitely at the forefront in offering a refreshing and modern approach to delivering legal services through tech.  With everything that has happened over the past year, now is the time for the profession to fully champion its use.

“Family law is an area where you’ll always need a personal touch, soft skills, and empathy; none of which can be replaced by tech. However, tech assists in providing clients with user-friendly platforms enabling them to engage with their solicitor more conveniently and effectively.

“Internally, utilising tech streamlines a lot of the clunkier processes for staff, thereby creating a more cost-effective and valuable service for clients.  Being part of a firm that truly utilises tech to offer the best experience for clients is a unique opportunity in the legal profession.”

Originally from Dumfries and Galloway, David will offer legal services to clients across the country.  He graduated from Dundee University in 2010 with a first-class honours law degree before completing his Diploma in Legal Practice in 2011 – and returned to academia as a family law tutor at Edinburgh Napier University in 2019.

Outside his professional life, David is a Director of Scottish Squash, the national governing body for squash in Scotland, which is responsible for promoting and developing the sport. He is also Chair of its Risk and Compliance sub-committee. 

Rob Aberdein, Chief Executive of Simpson & Marwick, said: “David is one of the best young family lawyers in Scotland, and a huge coup for us as we launch the new department.”

Simpson & Marwick is the pre-eminent legal brand of umbrella professional services firm Moray Group, which recently launched a new legal firm in Aberdeen, Esson & Aberdein. Since launching last year, it also acquired volume conveyancing and debt recovery specialist, Alston Law in Glasgow.

Richard Loudon, Chairman of Simpson & Marwick, said: “We’re understandably thrilled as this marks the next stage of expansion for Simpson & Marwick, and our wider strategy to offer a full range of private client services across Scotland.”

David added: “I want our team to deliver a service where our clients’ time is valued more than our own, where clients do not have apprehension regarding the cost of speaking to their lawyer and where we are responsive in communication and meeting deadlines.

“Our family law offering must break down geographical boundaries by understanding the nuances of the different regions in Scotland. My aim is to build a team of affable, open-minded lawyers who embrace how services are delivered in non-legal sectors and use this to offer solution-based advice to our clients.

“I am sure if we can do that, we will create an exciting place to work and offer clients a first-class service they will happily recommend to others.”

Moray Group launched in September with a promise to harness the latest technology to transform the customer experience of professional services in Scotland. With a turnover in excess of £6m and 80 staff, further growth through acquisition is planned with the group eyeing property letting, accountancy and financial services, as well as other law firms. Simpson & Marwick traces its roots back to 1886. The firm has offices in both Edinburgh and in North Berwick, East Lothian.

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