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Dundee law firm Blackadders announces new managing partners as Johnston Clark steps down after 23 years

Blackadders' Emma Gray, Johnston Clark and Ryan McKay.
Blackadders' Emma Gray, Johnston Clark and Ryan McKay.

Johnston Clark is to stand down after more than two decades as managing partner of Dundee law firm Blackadders.

Mr Clark has held the position with the firm since 1999. During his tenure the firm has expanded with several acquisitions.

He will be succeeded by Emma Gray and Ryan McKay as joint managing partners. They will serve an initial three-year term from July 31.

Mr Clark said: “Much has been achieved since I was first appointed in 1999.

“But two of the many tasks of a managing partner are to leave office with the firm in better shape than when they started and to secure their own succession.

Blackadders managing partner Johnston Clark is stepping down.

“We have come through the Covid period, the second lengthy crisis period of my tenure, stronger than ever.

“Now is the right time for the next generation to take charge, with my full support.”

Blackadders growth through acquisitions

During Mr Clark’s time at the helm, Blackadders acquired Aberdeen financial advisors Plenderleath Runcie in Aberdeen and Morisons’ Glasgow operation.

Other acquisitions include Perth’s Condies practice and Edinburgh sole practitioner Colin Blaikie.

Today the firm has around 200 staff across its offices in Dundee, Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth, Arbroath and Forfar.

Mr Clark was awarded Scottish Law Awards’ trophy for Managing Partner of the Year in 2019.

He will continue as chief executive of Blackadders Wealth Management LLP.

Paying tribute to his contribution to the firm’s success, chairman Peter Duff said: “The effort Johnston has put into the firm across the years to bring us to this point is a tremendous achievement.

The Blackadders table at last year’s Courier Business Awards.

“He has been critical to transforming Blackadders into a nationally recognised firm established in Scotland’s legal landscape.”

Mr Clark is one of the few Scottish solicitors personally registered with the Financial Conduct Authority.

He is deputy convener of the Law Society of Scotland’s client protection subcommittee.

He is also a director and panel member of the Legal Defence Union Ltd, a voluntary insurance scheme which supports solicitors.

New Blackadders managing partners

Ms Gray who is the firm’s head of commercial property, said being elected as joint managing partner was an “immense privilege”.

She said: “I am looking forward to working with Ryan and our talented colleagues to implement the firm’s strategic plan.

“I do so with huge appreciation for Johnston’s drive and vision which has shaped the success of the firm.”

Mr McKay is Blackadders’ head of dispute resolution.

He said: “We are a firm with a long record of success, stability and resilience.

“Emma and I will do all that we can to ensure we continue to build upon that.”

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