Legal firm announces foray into family law with new hire

A Scottish legal firm has made its first foray into family law in five years with a key appointment to launch its new department.

David Coutts, a lawyer with almost a decade of experience, has been appointed head of family law at Simpson & Marwick.

A specialist in separation, divorce, cohabitation and child-related matters, Coutts has practised family exclusively law since qualification.

The aim is for him to play a significant part in the firm’s expansion as it broadens the range of services available to clients.

The Edinburgh-based lawyer joins from family law firm Turcan Connell, where he was head of its Glasgow team. Prior to this, he spent eight years at Anderson Strathern.

Coutts said: “The firm is definitely at the forefront in offering a refreshing and modern approach to delivering legal services through tech.

“With everything that has happened over the past year, now is the time for the profession to fully champion its use.

“Family law is an area where you’ll always need a personal touch, soft skills, and empathy; none of which can be replaced by tech.

“However, tech assists in providing clients with user-friendly platforms enabling them to engage with their solicitor more conveniently and effectively,” he added. “Internally, utilising tech streamlines a lot of the clunkier processes for staff, thereby creating a more cost-effective and valuable service for clients.”

Originally from Dumfries and Galloway, Coutts will offer legal services to clients across the country.

He graduated from Dundee University in 2010 with a first-class honours law degree, before completing his Diploma in Legal Practice in 2011 – and returned to academia as a family law tutor at Edinburgh Napier University in 2019.

Outside his professional life, he is a director of Scottish Squash, the national governing body for squash in Scotland. He is also chair of its risk and compliance sub-committee.

Rob Aberdein, chief executive of Simpson & Marwick, said: “David is one of the best young family lawyers in Scotland, and a huge coup for us as we launch the new department.”

Simpson & Marwick is the legal brand of umbrella professional services firm Moray Group, which recently launched a new legal firm in Aberdeen, Esson & Aberdein.

Since launching last year, it also acquired volume conveyancing and debt recovery specialist, Alston Law, in Glasgow.

Moray Group launched in September with a promise to harness the latest technology to transform the customer experience of professional services in Scotland.

With a turnover of more than £6m and 80 staff, further growth through acquisition is planned with the group eyeing property letting, accountancy and financial services, as well as other law firms.

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