End of an era at Urquharts

End of an era at Urquharts

Roderick Urquhart and colleagues

An Edinburgh law firm’s 145-year connection to its founder is to come to an end.

Urquharts has been operating in Edinburgh since 1876 and the retirement of Roderick Urquhart will mark the end of an era.

However, the remaining partners have promised there will be no dramatic changes.

Stephen Blane, who will take over as senior partner, said: “Roderick is the fourth generation of the Urquhart family to be senior partner here and we want to thank him for everything he has done over many years of service. His will be a very well-deserved retirement.

“For the past 145 years, there has been an Urquhart associated with the firm. A number of people have asked us if this is a chance for us to modernise and shake things up.

“There is absolutely no need for that. We are extremely well prepared for Roderick’s departure and. the truth is there won’t be any radical changes. We will very much continue as we are while keeping an eye on what we can do to improve the already high level of personal service that we offer.

“What we keep hearing from our clients is that they appreciate our traditional and professional approach to looking after their interests. We will proudly continue to do the same things in the same way that we have been doing them very successfully for a long time now.

“Transactions are partner-led. If you instruct someone, you instruct the partner first and foremost and it is not delegated to the most junior person in the firm. Partners remain engaged and involved and take a direct interest in everything from start to finish.”

Preparation for Roderick’s departure has been underway for 18 months, with a key move being the recruitment of another partner, Alison Grandison, in April 2020. She is a specialist in residential conveyancing, which is one of the firm’s main strengths.

Mr Urquhart, who joined the firm in 1982, said: “I’ve enjoyed my time with the firm and I’m incredibly proud of all that we achieved and of the quality of the team who will now take Urquharts forward. There may no longer be an Urquhart in the firm, but I’m delighted that the same values will continue to underpin everything that it does.”

His great-grandfather Andrew Urquhart established the firm after moving to Edinburgh from Aberdeen. He chose to study law rather than follow his father, who captained tea clippers plying their trade from China to the north-east of Scotland.

In 1911, his son William joined the firm and oversaw its move to become property specialists and its relocation to Heriot Row. In 1952, his son Ronald became the third generation of the family to join the firm – with Roderick Urquhart joining in 1982.

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