Gilson Gray hires top solicitor to launch Family Law division

Legal firm branches into family law with new appointment 

Legal firm Gilson Gray has appointed renowned lawyer Philippa Cunniff to launch a Family Law division as it targets further growth in new sectors.
Cunniff will be tasked with building the Family Law team at Gilson Gray fresh from her role as Partner and Head of Family Law at HBJ Gateley. Gilson Gray says Cunniff is one of the most renowned lawyers to choose to leave HBJ in advance of the Addelshaw Goddard takeover.
With more than 16 years of specialist family law experience, Cunniff will help Gilson Gray to realise its new offering of family legal expertise with immediate effect as it marks its third anniversary.
Cunniff, who is dual qualified, will be joined by Paralegal Michelle McNaughton with whom she has 15 years’ working experience – and is already in the process of identifying more talent to join her team. Further market leading hires are expected shortly.
Cunniff said: “Gilson Gray has quickly become one of the most respected firms in the industry and we are now focused on building the best family law division in the country.
“It is fantastic to be joining at such an exciting time as the firm continues to attract top talent and the respected clients that come with that. The ambition and ethos of the firm perfectly fits my aspirations to build the leading family law practice in Scotland.”
A University of Aberdeen graduate, Cunniff started her career at Loudons WS as a family law trainee before moving on to Turcan Connell where she became a Partner. Originally from Kildare, Ireland, she moved to Edinburgh as a teenager and has lived in Scotland since.
Glen Gilson, Managing Partner at Gilson Gray, said: “It is our goal to be the best law firm in Scotland.
“Philippa is without question one of the country’s very best family lawyers. With her appointment we are able to offer one of the top family law services in the country, in line with our overarching ambitions for the business.
“Philippa was our prime candidate for leading a service line that requires sophistication, technical excellence and exceptional people skills.
“Her joining our partnership is another case of us being able to attract the brightest and best in the market, drawn here by a modern business approach that benefits both our team and our clients.”
This further landmark appointment follows quickly upon the firms recent 5,000 square foot expansion of its Rutland Square offices and hot on the heels of the appointment of Donna Kelly Gilmour, one of Scotland’s leading real estate and renewables lawyers.
In 2014, Gilson Gray opened as the largest full service law firm launch in Scottish legal history, with a portfolio of talent poached from the leading firms in Scotland – opening simultaneously in Glasgow (160 West George Street) and Edinburgh (29 Rutland Square) with a radical client-focused strategy that offers a cost effective alternative to the top ten firms in the country.
The firm also recently landed six awards at the ACQ5 legal awards – the third year in a row that Gilson Gray has seen success – including Law Firm of the Year, Managing Partner of the Year and Insolvency Lawyer of the Year, all for the second time in three years.
The Firm was also recently recognised as Best New Scottish Company, M&A Firm of the Year for the second year running and, crucially, Customer Focus Firm of the Year.
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Hannah Hamilton, who is a former Fife College student, is a reporter and assistant content editor for Scotland B2B, specialising in B2B news and features. She can be contacted via