“There’s a good commercial buzz” – Working in the gunnercooke Glasgow office

July 31, 2023
Katy Wedderburn


View profile

What’s it like being part of gunnercooke Glasgow?

gunnercooke is still a relatively new legal business in Glasgow, with gunnercooke Scotland only launching about 2 years ago, so there is an exciting journey of expansion going on in both the whole organisation and within Scotland. Being part of a bigger organisation that’s modern and ambitious is a refreshing change. The fee share model is relatively new in Scotland so it offers a level of freedom to work in the way that you feel like working. It’s liberating to be able to do things in a different way if that’s what you want.

What makes the legal scene in Glasgow different to the rest of Scotland?

Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland and is very vibrant. Glasgow is an industrial city by its heritage; there are lots of good manufacturing and engineering businesses as well as financial services, hospitality and tourism, and public sector organisations based here. It’s an industrial heartland which grew massively during Victorian times, so it has a strong and unique heritage to it. There’s a good commercial buzz and although it’s a big city, people are really friendly so has a lot to offer those working in the legal sector.

What’s your favourite thing about working in the Glasgow office?

Both the buzz and the people. There are 6 of us working from the Glasgow office regularly and I knew some of them before moving to gunnercooke, so it has been really nice getting to connect with them in the workplace and to meet new people as well. I’ve been at gunnercooke for about 5 months and I’ve already had good cross-referrals, both with me passing client work to others and receiving work from different Partners. Cross referrals are entrenched into gunnercooke culture, and people are always open to being collaborative: they try to do the best they can for their clients, which means introducing them to new contacts who will benefit their business.

How do you work with other practice areas or partners outside of Scotland?

I’m a Scottish qualified Employment and Discrimination lawyer, so I can advise on employment law and do employment tribunal work anywhere in the UK. That said, the majority of my clients and work are based in Scotland. I have been working with some English Partners who have clients that want Scottish input on contracts and employment processes, and I’ve worked with closely with some English Partners for cross-border matters which I have needed English legal input into, particularly in litigious cases. A benefit of the gunnercooke model means that there is an expert for most specialisms, so if a client needs a lawyer for something that I am not able to help with, I can refer them to someone within the business. It makes it quick, easy and seamless for clients.

What is the current business landscape like in Glasgow?

Businesses are busy but the increase in energy pricing definitely affected a lot of my clients and meant that their contracts and pricings with their own B2B clients were affected. Some have had to lobby for government support and others had to contemplate closure due to the huge energy cost increases. Thankfully they have weathered that for now.

Other clients in tourism and hospitality struggle to recruit and retain staff, particularly post Brexit. Clients in the third sector are having a more difficult time due to cuts (or lack of increase) in government funding and need to make cost efficiencies when they are already lean. There are lots of interesting things happening in Glasgow business wise, and I enjoy having a finger on the pulse.

What are the opportunities like for lawyers in Glasgow?

Glasgow is the biggest city in Scotland by size and population so there are a good number of options for younger lawyers looking to develop. The industrial heartland that runs in the central belt, including Glasgow, Edinburgh and Stirling, definitely sees a higher need for lawyers than more remote parts of Scotland. That said there are strong businesses and good lawyers in more remote places and the Highlands too.

To contact Katy, or read more about her practice, click here.

To find out more about joining gunnercooke visit our Join Us site here.

To join us, use the form below