09 Jan 2019
Scottish legal firm Anderson Strathern has retooled its Brexit offering to clients and launched a commercially focused Brexit Group with Director Neil Amner, former President of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce and current board member of Scottish Chambers of Commerce, at its helm. The law firm was the first in Scotland to launch a dedicated Brexit unit in July 2016 within days of the outcome of the EU referendum. The refocus of the Brexit Group comes as industry research indicates that the majority of UK SMEs have not yet carried out a Brexit-readiness risk assessment, including the possibility of a no-deal Brexit.
Neil Amner, who joined the firm as a Director in April 2017 and also chairs the Scottish Chambers of Commerce’s Economic Advisory Group, heads the Brexit Group which also includes the firm’s Chair, Bruce Farquhar, Managing Partner Murray McCall, parliamentary and public law specialist Fiona Killen. They’re joined by partners across a range of key business areas including corporate, commercial property, immigration, rural, regulation, transport and logistics.
The firm has experienced a marked increase in Brexit-related advisory services in recent weeks and is advising organisations across the private and public sectors, primarily Scotland’s SME sector, on contingency planning and scenario testing. The Brexit Group’s services include a Brexit audit for businesses and is supported by an online Brexit Hub which offers insight, analysis and practical advice. Anderson Strathern has also commissioned third party research to gauge SME sentiment in Scotland.
Group lead Neil Amner also chairs the Scottish Chambers of Commerce Economic Advisory Group and, combined with his expertise in the transport, logistics and background in commercial property, the firm says Amner brings a strong understanding of the business community’s needs as 29 March approaches. He said: “Whatever the shape of the Brexit deal or no-deal, there are few businesses that will not be touched by Brexit in some way. We’re working closely with clients to look at all the possible outcomes of Brexit and helping them plan ahead so that companies can maintain as close to ‘business as usual’.”
Commenting on the research project, Neil Amner said: "Brexit and its effect on trade to and from Scotland is a key issue across our client base. We are taking the temperature of Scotland plc pre-Brexit to gauge sentiment, find out what the main areas of concern are, where there might be opportunities and, overall, we expect the project will inform our own advisory work going forward."
Bruce Farquhar, Anderson Strathern’s Chair, said: “The Brexit Group has been created with a pragmatic commercial focus so that clients can rest assured knowing there will be no stones left unturned for them as they prepare for the UK leaving the European Union at the end of March.”
Last month, Anderson Strathern reported increased turnover of £22.8 million for the year to 31st August 2018 [2017: £21.5M] and profits up by 10 per cent.
About Anderson Strathern - Anderson Strathern is a leading Scottish full service legal firm working in the commercial, private client and public sectors with 52 partners and over 240 employees across Edinburgh, Glasgow and East Lothian. Clients include Buccleuch Estates, the Scottish Government, Crown Estate Scotland, Clyde Gateway, Scotmid, Apex Hotels, INEOS, University of the West of Scotland, Transport Scotland, the Scottish Prison Service and the Royal College of Nursing.