Blackadders expands the brand further with acquisitions in Edinburgh and Perth

Leading Scottish Law Firm Blackadders,  has agreed merger terms with companies in Edinburgh and Perth, bringing the number of offices  operated to six and further strengthen its position as one of the fastest-expanding law firms in Scotland.

Perth4
Pictured from left to right are: James Morris, Johnston Clark, David Reid, Alastair Duncan, Lindsay Darroch and Campbell Clark.

The larger of the two takeovers involves Condies, which is based in Tay Street in Perth city centre. Under the agreement, David Reid and James Morris of Condies become partners at Blackadders and Alastair Duncan a consultant. There will be no job losses as a result of the merger.

Condies is one of the oldest law firms in Scotland. Boasting a wide-ranging client base, it is widely recognised for expertise in trusts, the agricultural sector and wealth management.

Under the second deal, Edinburgh-based solicitor Colin Blaikie, currently operating from Broughton Street, will become a partner in Blackadders and move to the company’s base in the capital at 5 Rutland Square, along with all members of staff.

The changes will take effect from 1 October.

Johnston Clark, managing partner, Blackadders, commented: “We are delighted to have established a base in Perth, which is arguably the most important urban centre in the East of Scotland after Aberdeen, Dundee and Edinburgh, where we already have a presence.The merger will further strengthen our position in the market and will have a positive impact on our clients.The move will enhance our presence and allow us an opportunity to further develop in Perth and Perhshire.” In Edinburgh, the addition of Colin Blaikie to our senior team will further strengthen the client services we already offer in the capital enhancing our team and adding to the development of this office since our merger with McKay Norwell in 2012”

These latest deals bring the number of acquisitions made this year by Blackadders to three, having taken over the long-established Aberdeen firm of Adam Cochran in January.

Mr Clark added: “The market for legal services in all our practice groups is changing and the partners believe that our growth into a national firm offers increased brand recognition and the resources required to take advantage of the opportunities this will create.”

Further information, contacts, etc.
Lindsay Darroch -01382 342262 or 07525101949

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property

STAGNANT PROPERTY MARKET – HOME TRACK

As part of the myriad of conflicting reports that are coming out about the property market, I was interested to read a report from the Home Track Consultancy which is focussed in on England and Wales.  They have advised that key indicators are showing a stagnating market  with less properties coming on to the market and also a much quieter summer.  I was also interested to read a recent report from the Nationwide which advised the house price growth edged up in August, UK prices being up by 0.8% but the number of mortgage approvals falling by almost 12% between January and May with a modest rebound in June.

I am still of the view that Autumn will see a gradually improving house market, with an increase in the number of properties coming on to the market.  I will keep you advised of trends.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property   

PROPERTY MARKET – SUMMER UPDATE: A PLETHORA OF OPPOSING FIGURES

So what happened to the Scottish property market in the summer?

As readers of previous blogs know, I caveat all my blogs, especially updating on trends by saying these words are my own personal view.  I think that here at Blackadders where we have a substantial presence in Dundee, Arbroath, Forfar, Edinburgh and Aberdeen dealing with property transactions throughout the whole of Scotland, makes us uniquely placed to comment on the Scottish property market.  I have been astounded this year by the number of opposing surveys and trends and as it’s often said, you can make statistics say anything that you would like them to say.  I have read reports showing the number of first time buyers have increased, the number of first time buyers have decreased, the amount of mortgages coming on to the market increasing, the amount of mortgages coming on to the market decreasing, so what is now my  overall feeling?

There is no doubt  that the number of properties coming on to the Scottish property market has not increased as rapidly as we would have liked and I refer you back to a previous blog regarding stagnation – 4 November 2013.  As mentioned, the shortage of properties coming on to the market has led to increased price volatility with a huge increase in the number of closing dates and significant price increases for properties that have been correctly marketed and that are in the right area.  This has led a number of developers also selling out all their stock for 2014 and, in my opinion, the new properties coming on the market are the key to getting the housing market moving.

In relation to first time buyers, like the many surveys, I have a mixed message here.  I think the number of first time buyers has probably increased due to targeted assistance from the Government.  The Help to Buy scheme, however, has now been withdrawn and the Help to Buy scheme that was targeted at newbuild properties was wrongly set up, allowing first time buyers to miss out the traditional first time first step property, causing part of the housing market to actually stagnate.  I also think that the Referendum in September is also now having a brake effect on the market, both curtailing property investment in Scotland and also putting some people off putting their property on the market, thus accentuating the shortage.

I also have a slight suspicion that the increasing economic confidence and job security that has happened to many people has actually caused a lot more people to think this year about summer holidays, postponing their property move until the following year.

So what about Autumn?  I anticipate it starting probably late September when there will be a steady increase in the number of second-hand properties coming on to the market.  I also think that the developers will be in a better position to start fulfilling demand for 2015.  This will cause second-hand stocks to increase and create a pool of expectant buyers, meaning that 2015 will see the start of a huge increase in transactional levels.  I think that there will be an increase in the number of property investors, both individuals and institutions, coming into the market.  I also hope that the Government comes up with a refined plan to carry on assisting first time buyers to get on to the property market via the second-hand market.

The figure that I will be watching very closely at the end of October 2014 is the number of properties coming on to the market.  If this shows a significant increase compared to 2013, then I feel that the property market will move forward considerably in 2015.  If this figure is the same, or down, compared to 2013, my concern is that 2015 will be a year of stagnation with more pressure put on the developers to come up with part exchange and other novel schemes to assist people in moving property.  I also have a concern that the Bank of England will move too quickly in to put up interest rates and I worry this may nip any recovery before it has time to get hold in the market.

I will continue to report on trends.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner  – Head of Property

BLACKADDERS WILL LIST YOUR PROPERTY FOR SALE WITHOUT ANY UPFRONT COSTS THIS SEPTEMBER

Thinking about selling your house? – then don’t miss out on this offer.

38405 A5 Leaflet v1

 

During the month of September, Blackadders will list your property for sale without any upfront costs, that’s right NO upfront costs. To find out more call 01382 342222 or email enquiries@blackadders.co.uk.

Lindsay Darroch
Partner – Head of Property