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Pinsent Masons Named Stonewall’s Scotland Diversity Champion

Pinsent Masons has been crowned Scottish Diversity Champion for a second year by equality campaign charity Stonewall.

The first law firm to be included in Stonewall’s Workplace Equality Index back in 2008, Pinsent Masons has consistently ranked in the Top 100 British employers. This year marks the fifth consecutive year the firm has been placed in the British top five and the second successive year as Top Employer Private Sector in the Stonewall Scotland Workplace Awards.

With more than 500 staff based at offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Aberdeen, Pinsent Masons has been consistent in supporting LGBT issues in the workplace and out with the business.

Construction sector specialist and senior associate, Craig Macphee, collected the award on behalf of colleagues at a celebration dinner at the Virgin Money Banking Hall in Glasgow.

Craig Macphee said: “The willingness of the firm to embrace diversity and inclusion has benefits across the firm. It encourages a more inclusive atmosphere and even for those staff not directly affected by diversity issues, they will feel a parallel benefit if other colleagues are able to come to work and be genuine or authentic.”

“More often now, we are being asked by clients, and even third parties who supply services to Pinsent Masons, to share information on the approach we are taking on diversity issues, and we are happy to be able to positively contribute to the wider equality agenda.”

One initiative which has made a significant contribution to promoting diversity within Pinsent Masons has been the formation of an LGBT Allies network. Staff can privately discuss with an Ally, who are visible and known throughout the firm, matters they may feel they are unable or unwilling to raise with managers.

Craig added: “The Allies network has gained a lot of traction with staff and they are available for anyone, working at any level, who would benefit from have a confidential sounding board or is looking to seek advice on a range of issues. There is also a strong partnership across the firm with other forums such as our Disability and Wellbeing Network and Female Futures Network, because often those groups share common issues and experiences.”

Pinsent Masons’ Chair of Scotland and Northern Ireland, Katharine Hardie, said: “Diversity and inclusion is a central tenet of our business and we are delighted that Stonewall has again recognised the work being done across the firm, and particularly in Scotland, on these vitally important issues.

“Law graduates are increasingly selective when it comes to deciding which firms they will work for and resting on our laurels and past reputation will not cut it when it comes to attracting the best legal talent. Being highly regarded by the Stonewall Workplace Equality Index provides potential future employees with a valuable benchmark and an assurance that diversity and inclusion is treated seriously at Pinsent Masons.”

Colin Macfarlane, Director of Stonewall Scotland, said: “Pinsent Masons are playing a huge role in improving the lives of LGBT people in Scotland, and should be very proud of their work.

“We still don’t live in a world where everyone is able to be themselves in the workplace, as we know more than a third of LGBT staff (36 per cent) hide who they are at work. By taking steps to make their workplaces supportive and welcoming of all lesbian, gay, bi and trans people, these organisations are bringing us closer to a world where everyone is accepted without exception.”

If you would like to find out more information, please visit: https://www.pinsentmasons.com/

Manufacturing Firm Recognised for Excellence and Innovation

The nominations are open for a national award to recognise excellence and innovation in Scotland’s manufacturing sector, the Scottish First Minister has announced.

Scotland is a country that is part of the UK. Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile border with England.

Manufacturing is the creation or production of goods with the help of equipment, labour, machines, tools, and chemical or biological processing or formulation. It is the essence of secondary sector of the economy.

The First Minister’s Award for Manufacturing Leadership celebrates competitive and innovative manufacturing companies who champion fair work and invest in the skills and wellbeing of their employees.

A first minister is any of a variety of leaders of government cabinets. The term literally has the same meaning as “prime minister” but is typically chosen to distinguish the office-holder from a superior prime minister.

The winning company will receive:

  • a physical award designed by students on Skills Development Scotland’s Engineering: Design and Manufacture Graduate Apprenticeships programme
  • two places, together worth £2500, on a delegation arranged by the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service of industry leaders visiting an overseas advanced manufacturing site
  • one year of free enterprise membership of Scotland House in London which gives access to meeting rooms, event spaces and exclusive networking events

The Scottish Government is supporting advancement in manufacturing including the £65 million National Manufacturing Institute Scotland, up to £14 million investment through the Advancing Manufacturing Challenge Fund, and the £39 million Glasgow City Regions City Deal project to develop the essential infrastructure needed for the Advanced Manufacturing Innovation District Scotland.

The National Manufacturing Institute Scotland is a group of industry-led manufacturing research and development facilities with a network of Partners across Scotland brought together to boost the manufacturing community.

The winner will be announced at the Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service’s National Manufacturing Conference on 26 May, 2020.

Global Accountancy Firm Names New Company Boss for Scotland

Covering the northern third of the island of Great Britain, mainland Scotland has a 96-mile border with England to the southeast and is otherwise surrounded by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and west, the North Sea to the northeast and the Irish Sea to the south.

PwC has unveiled a new boss for its operation in Scotland. The firm has unveiled Claire Reid as the successor to long-standing Scottish chairman Lindsay Gardiner, who has stepped down after seven years in the role.

PricewaterhouseCoopers is a multinational professional services network of firms, operating as partnerships under the PwC brand. PwC ranks as the second-largest professional services network in the world and is considered one of the Big Four accounting firms

Claire, until recently head of assurance for PwC in Scotland, becomes the first female to hold the post.

And she comes to the role with a strong background in technology. Claire joined PwC in 1998 and in the earlier part of her career with the firm was based in Silicon Valley, California, where she worked with a number of high-profile technology clients.

On returning to the United Kingdom she worked to establish and develop PwC’s relationship with Oracle, a cloud computing partner, going on to help build the firm’s cyber security operation, during a 10-year spell in London.

Claire, who has a degree in international business and modern languages from the University of Strathclyde, returned to her hometown of Glasgow in 2016 to become head of assurance and lead the firm’s technology risk practice across the United Kingdom.

Mr Gardiner meanwhile will continue to work within the firm’s audit business.

Scottish Aviation Firm Names New Chief Executive Officer

Scottish aviation firm John Menzies – one of Scotland’s oldest and largest companies – has announced the appointment of Giles Wilson as CEO with immediate effect.

John Menzies plc is the holding company of Menzies Aviation plc, an aviation services business providing ground handling, cargo handling, cargo forwarding and into-plane fuelling, based in Edinburgh, Scotland.

He was named chief financial officer of the group in June 2016 and was made interim chief executive on 12 March this year on the departure of Forsyth Black.

Wilson joined the group in 2011, and has held senior roles including finance director of Menzies Aviation and senior vice president of African, Middle East and Indian Operations.

Menzies, which dates back to 1833 when it opened a bookshop on Edinburgh’s Princes Street, selling The Scotsman, said Wilson “brings great financial acumen and a deep knowledge of the aviation services market to this role”.

Black had been ratified as chief executive in September, returning Menzies to what it described at the time as a “more standard executive structure”.

By 2017, other countries and contracts had come online, and with the acquisition of ASIG, the world’s largest into-plane fuelling business, we were firmly established as a global player in cargo, fuelling and ground handling.

It was time for the business to move forward as a ‘pure-play’ aviation business and so in 2018, the board agreed to sell the entire share capital of the distribution business.

The transformation of John Menzies’ business had come full circle, and the next evolution of the aviation market would be our main focus.

Scottish Industrial Strategy Efforts

The aim of the Industrial Strategy was to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the United Kingdom with investment in skills, industries and infrastructure.

Speaking to over 50 business leaders at the Scottish Council for Development and Industry Annual Forum today, Lord Henley showcased how, through collaboration between United Kingdom and Scottish government, Scottish businesses and regions were “rising to the occasion” to meet some of the United Kingdom’s biggest challenges.

In particular he highlighted the importance of collaboration between the SCDI and government in supporting Scottish enterprise in recent years – with £87 million of United Kingdom government funding awarded to 163 Scottish organisations through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund since its launch in April 2017.

The government has also invested over £1.35 billion pounds across Scotland, as part of the City and Growth Deals, aimed at providing more power and flexibility to cities in terms of employment and skills, business support and housing.

As part of his visit, Lord Henley met with life sciences company RoslinCT to see how £887,000 of government funding, awarded in October 2018, is being used to help develop stem cell therapies for clinical use.

He also met with scientists and academia from SynthSys, Edinburgh’s virtual centre for Synthetic Biology, to tour its flagship Genome Foundry, which is using robotics and automation to assemble DNA for medical applications.

Double wins for Burness Paull and Brodies at IP awards

Burness Paull LLP and Brodies LLP have scored double wins for their intellectual property teams at an international awards ceremony.

The Managing IP Awards saw Burness Paull named winners of the Scottish Patent Contentious Firm of the Year and also Scottish Copyright Firm of the Year awards at the event which took place in the Royal Lancaster Hotel in London last week.

Brodies was recognised for the seventh consecutive year, picking up the awards for Scotland’s Trade Mark Contentious Firm of the Year and IP Transactions and Advisory Firm of the Year.

Brodies’ IP team received the awards in recognition of excellence in innovation and specialist intellectual property work over the past 12 months.

Burness Paull’s IP practice is led by Colin Hulme, the only Scottish IP litigator ranked as band 1 in Chambers UK and as a “leading individual” in Legal 500.

He said: “The patents award is reflective of the ongoing work we are doing with AstraZeneca in the Court of Session and acting for both operators and major service companies on patent disputes in Scotland and internationally in the oil and gas sector.

“The breadth of our practice is underlined by the copyright award in recognition of our work for significant rights-holder clients such as the Harris Tweed Authority, Sky, PPL, PRS for Music and the enforcement of their rights across Scotland ensures we are the heaviest user of the Scottish IP Court by some margin.”

Robert Buchan, partner and head of Brodies’ contentious IP team, said: “IP continues to be critical in safeguarding the future of many businesses, encouraging innovation and improving the bottom line. This year we have worked on international patent and trade mark disputes and high value IP transactions, as well as using the local Scottish courts to successfully protect valuable IP rights.

“Receiving these awards from Managing IP for the seventh consecutive year is a great honour, and is testament to the hard work of the team at Brodies, not to mention our clients, who we thank for continuing to trust us with challenging and interesting mandates.”

About Burness Paull LLP:

Lawyers like data. So here are the numbers:

We have over 530 people.

We operate from three offices.

This year we have worked on over £42.8bn of deals in more than 60 jurisdictions.

And we have one goal. To be the Best Scottish Law Firm in the World.

But it’s not the numbers that make us special.

Don’t take it from us. Take it from our clients.