Brodies, Scotland's biggest home-based legal firm, has expanded its corporate and commercial team with the appointment of partner Derek Stroud.

Two other partner appointments, Helen Abrams (real estate) and Sarah-Jane McArthur (energy and infrastructure), lead a round of 16 promotions announced at the same time. The three will take Brodies' partner total to 93. 

Mr Stroud, who joins in the summer from Pinsent Masons, has 25 years’ experience in corporate advisory work, merger and acquisition transactions and private equity deals. 

Brodies said the partner promotions "reflect continued investment in key areas of commercial activity including housebuilding, the leisure sector, and renewables and infrastructure projects".

Other promotions include four new managing associates: Scott Logan (land and rural business), Angela McCulloch (personal and family), Rhona McFarlane (energy and infrastructure) and Fiona Morrison (employment), and nine new associates: Ciaran Dougherty, Lynn Livesey, Caitlin McNeish and Ryan Openshaw (all litigation and regulatory), Danny George and Gillian Watson (both real estate), Kimberley Forman and Jack Moir (both banking and finance) and Paul Breen (corporate and commercial).

The firm has also announced the creation of a new advocacy unit, bringing together and coordinating the advocacy work of lawyers across the litigation department, including 10 solicitor advocates. This in part reflects the projected shift of litigation work from the Court of Session to the sheriff courts and will give clients an increased choice and an alternative to instructing members of the Faculty of Advocates. The unit will be led by Christine O’Neill, chairman of Brodies, who will be supported by Laura Brain, the firm’s new director of advocacy – the final promotion confirmed.

Managing partner Bill Drummond commented: “Derek’s appointment, together with our internal promotions led by Sarah-Jane and Helen, and [partner Douglas Crawford’s] arrival last month, underscore our continued investment targeted at supporting the growth of key sectors in the Scottish economy through the delivery of the broad range of specialist legal services relevant to clients and today’s marketplace.

“Brodies has a long tradition of providing specialist litigation services, including advocacy, going back to the days when the late David Williamson QC was one of the first solicitor advocates and then Queen’s Counsel in the solicitors’ branch of the legal profession. We look forward to continuing that tradition and further enhancing our market-leading reputation with the establishment of our new advocacy unit."