Property lawyer Katharine Hardie has been appointed head of law firm Pinsent Masons’ Scottish and Northern Irish operations, with effect from tomorrow, 1 October 2019.

A specialist in commercial and residential property development, Ms Hardie takes over as 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. She will be responsible for leading Pinsent Masons' four offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Aberdeen and Belfast and approximately 600 partners, lawyers and support staff.

Mr Masters has decided to step down to pursue other business opportunities outwith the legal profession, after spending his entire 32 year law career with McGrigors, which merged with Pinsent Masons in 2012.

Ms Hardie commented: "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."

Mr 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."