When David Stewart established his legal practice in 1768 – the year after construction of Edinburgh’s New Town began – he laid the foundations of the firm that became Shepherd and Wedderburn.
Since then, Shepherd and Wedderburn has grown to become one of Scotland’s largest law firms – with offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen – and our relationship with the business and financial community has endured and prospered. We have been at the forefront of innovation in all the key sectors of the economy – from the expansion of Edinburgh’s financial services sector and the privatisation of state industries to, more recently, our work with one of Scotland’s first tech unicorns and on landmark clean energy projects.
Our 250th anniversary year is an important milestone for our firm and an opportunity to recognise and celebrate the achievements of our clients, our role in their success. Building on our heritage of excellent client service, our focus is firmly on the future, and on ensuring we maintain our proud tradition of supporting innovation, economic growth and international commerce. Shepherd and Wedderburn is in the privileged position of working with clients in Scotland, the UK and abroad who are leaders in their industries and sectors. Establishing long-standing relationships of trust, founded on legal advice and client service of the highest quality, is our hallmark.
To recognise our unremitting focus on clients and the contribution they make to economic growth, we have commissioned The University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute to undertake a major research project that will help Scottish businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs best position themselves for the future.
Our 250th anniversary will also see us build upon the positive contribution our people have made to the communities in which we live and work, through our extensive programme of volunteering and providing financial support to a wide variety of charities and our provision of pro bono legal advice.
I would like to take this opportunity, on behalf of the firm, to thank our clients, colleagues and alumni, who have been critical to our progress over the past 250 years. I look forward to you joining us on the next chapter in our story, and to Shepherd and Wedderburn supporting you in the years ahead.
Paul Hally, Chairman
Shepherd and Wedderburn has a proud history of innovation and of supporting clients on landmark projects in every sector. Our focus is firmly on the future, and on ensuring we maintain our proud tradition of supporting innovation, economic growth and international commerce. You can read our full firm history here.
As the world goes to war, Professor Sir Ernest Wedderburn OBE, changes the face of combat with a new system for calculating the allowance made for ballistic winds in long-range artillery shelling.Meet Sir Ernest
Much of Shepherd and Wedderburn’s focus is on investment trust management, with a number of partners acting as company directors. The Hon James Balfour, who retired from the firm in 1927, had served as Chief Assistant to the Financial Adviser to the Persian Government.
Following the outbreak of the Second World War, around 30 partners and staff are called up for active service.
William ‘Bill’ Bowes begins his career at Shepherd and Wedderburn as an office junior straight from school, aged 14. On his return to work after service in the Second World War, Bowes is encouraged by Professor Sir Ernest Wedderburn to study law. He qualifies as a solicitor, develops a successful practice and is assumed as a partner in 1967, spending more than 50 years with the firm before retiring as a senior partner in 1989.Meet Bill
The Henry Report: Scottish Home and Health Department, Scheme for the Introduction and Operation of Registration of Title to Land in Scotland, authored by Shepherd and Wedderburn partner George Henry, is published in 1969. The detailed proposals for a scheme of registration of title lead to the introduction of the system of land registration that is still used throughout Scotland to this day.Meet George
Shepherd and Wedderburn builds on its legacy of innovation across the key sectors of the economy by commissioning the University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute to produce Scotland in 2050: Realising Our Global Potential.Scotland 2050
Our lawyers are privileged to work with clients who are leaders in their industries and sectors, in Scotland, the UK and abroad. We are currently supporting businesses in more than 100 jurisdictions, advising on specific projects, helping them expand their overseas operations or supporting them in entering new markets.
Building on our unremitting focus on clients and the contribution they make to the economy, we have commissioned The University of Strathclyde’s Fraser of Allander Institute to undertake a major research project to help Scottish businesses, organisations and entrepreneurs best position themselves for the future. We have used fresh insights drawn from economic data and long-term global growth forecasts to inform a conversation with our clients and key industry contacts, which will help identify how they – and Scotland – can mitigate the challenges and seize the opportunities in the years ahead against the backdrop of a rapidly-evolving global economy.Find out more