Message Matters Ltd.

10 York Place, Edinburgh, EH3 1EP

Office: 0131 524 8129

Peter: 07740 469 949

Andy: 07855 261 244

Fiona: 07581 056 562

Latest news on Twitter
Blog Index
The journal that this archive was targeting has been deleted. Please update your configuration.


Message Matters' client Shepherd and Wedderburn has today acquired out of administration the business and assets of Tods Murray, the Scottish law firm whose history spans 158 years. Tods Murray Partners have agreed that the arrangement will preserve the maximum number of jobs and ensure continuity of service to clients. 

The arrangement will result in both an increased projected turnover and headcount at Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Stephen Gibb, Chief Executive of Shepherd and Wedderburn stated:

“We will be welcoming many new colleagues into our team, as part of Shepherd and Wedderburn. Their clients can be assured of a continuation of the high level of service they have come to expect, as well as the opportunity to access the expanded range of legal expertise and advice we offer. Whilst inevitably there will be a need to rationalise, I am confident that the arrangement will provide significant benefits to our staff and client base.

"Shepherd and Wedderburn has a debt-free balance sheet and a strategy for sustainable growth both in Scotland and across the rest of the UK.  The opportunity to add to our excellent client base and secure additional high quality lawyers to bolster our expert teams is ideally timed for our business. It’s a further significant step forward in realising our clearly defined strategy for growth”.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has experienced a period of sustained growth, and during the last 18 months, the firm has made four high profile lateral appointments to key sector practices as well three internal promotions to the partnership. The acquisition of Tods Murray aligns with Shepherd and Wedderburn’s intention, articulated earlier in 2014, by Chief Executive, Stephen Gibb to go on the acquisition trail for firms of the ‘right fit and quality’.

Further detail

  • Of the Tods Murray Partners joining Shepherd and Wedderburn: 18 will join as Partners; 5 as directors; and 7 as consultants.
  • Shepherd and Wedderburn will trade out of the former Tods Murray offices at Edinburgh Quay and Bothwell Street, Glasgow for no more than three months before these offices are closed.
  • Tods Murray employees were formally notified of the situation earlier today.  Shepherd and Wedderburn propose to commence a formal 45 day redundancy consultation process with the former Tods Murray employees next week. The initial proposal is for c50 jobs to be subject to redundancy consultation.
  • Following the consultation period all retained personnel will move to Shepherd and Wedderburn’s  existing offices at Exchange Crescent, Edinburgh and West George Street, Glasgow.

Shepherd and Wedderburn is a leading UK law firm, with an uncompromising commitment to client service. With offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, the City of London, and Aberdeen, the firm delivers comprehensive multi-jurisdictional legal advice across every business sector as well as offering the full range of private client and wealth management services.

As a founding member of the World Services Group, Shepherd and Wedderburn is able to respond to clients’ needs swiftly and effectively anywhere in the world. Currently the firm serves clients in 86 jurisdictions.

Regarded by many as the go-to firm for specialist advice in the energy and natural resources and real estate sectors, Shepherd and Wedderburn also has an impressive track record in advising clients from across other industries and sectors. FTSE 100 blue-chips, AIM companies, large SMEs, and public service organisations are counted among its clients.

Post acquisition the firm will have 564 staff, including 82 Partners.

For the year ending April 2014, turnover at Shepherd and Wedderburn increased from £35.9m to £38.3m and net profit rose by 10 per cent to £14.3m.



Big steps: Staff and pupils from the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments celebrate WCPD 2014.Scotland’s leading health, education, research and charity professionals gathered at Holyrood last night (Tuesday, September 30th, 2014) for a reception hosted by the Scottish Centre for Children with Motor Impairments marking the eve of the global awareness day for Cerebral Palsy. Message Matters' client, the SCCMI is Scotland’s national specialist centre for integrated education and therapy services for children with cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions, based at the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld, serving all of Scotland’s local authorities.

At last night’s event staff and children and young people who attend the Centre met with MSPs and guests, and enjoyed sporting displays from Molly Williamson, 14, from Falkirk, who is a member of Lothian Phoenix Wheelchair Basketball squad and from Georgie Williams, 18, from Perthshire, who is a BC3 (very severe physical disability) player in the Scotland Boccia Squad. The displays of sporting prowess in their chosen fields illustrated the achievements of the national Centre in helping children achieve levels of independence and skill in life.

17 million people are affected by cerebral palsy around the world. World Cerebral Palsy Day is a global awareness and innovation project aiming to change the world for people with cerebral palsy (CP). It is designed to gather ideas from people living with CP and their supporters, and to make the best of those ideas a reality. The first global awareness day was held in 2012. Over 470 ideas were received that year and three were shortlisted in a global competition to prototype them. A solar powered wheelchair was the first winner, proposed by a man with CP in Turkey and developed by the University of Virginia. The day is backed by disability organisations in over 46 countries, who come together to place an international spotlight on CP.

The SCCMI is a Grant Aided Special School funded directly by the Scottish Government to provide specialist and high quality integrated therapy and education for children and young people affected by cerebral palsy and similar neurological conditions from all parts of Scotland. SCCMI has a specific and specialist focus on children affected by neurological conditions and holds the view that children with cerebral palsy and related neurological conditions require a focused and specialist environment within which their needs can be addressed, their abilities can be developed and within which they can progress and flourish.

Operating within a specially designed and high quality facility at the Craighalbert Centre in Cumbernauld, the SCCMI’s staff work in tightly knit teams, which include physiotherapists, occupational therapists, speech and language therapists and teachers, who work in an integrated, collaborative manner to enable children and young people to maximise their abilities, achieve their full potential and develop their greatest level of independence.

Chief Executive of the Centre, Professor Patrick Salter, said:

“As a national centre in Scotland the SCCMI embodies the aspirations of World Cerebral Palsy Day and we are very proud to be showcasing our work at the Scottish Parliament on such an important occasion. At SCCMI we believe all children and young people have the capacity for progress and that the focus on a child with additional support needs should be on his/her achievement, progress and potential realisation, rather than on their difficulties.  This means our focus is on what they can do, rather than what they cannot do.

“Our specialist staff work collaboratively, providing integrated education and therapy for children from nursery age through to teenagers up to 19 years of age. Our facilities include a hydrotherapy pool and sensory room, which contribute to the well-being and ambitions of our children as we seek to aid them with their education, movement and communication. We hope tonight’s reception will lead to greater recognition of Scotland’s cerebral palsy care needs and the potential for a national approach to the provision of care and education.”



The independent Scottish charity, Keep Scotland Beautiful, has welcomed the launch of an awareness campaign on the introduction of a charge for single-use carrier bags, set for introduction on 20th October.

Legislation passed by the Scottish Parliament in May introduced a mandatory 5p charge on all single use carrier bags, with the proceeds being given to environmental good causes.

Derek Robertson, Chief Executive of Keep Scotland Beautiful said::

“The introduction of this charge for single-use carrier bags is an overwhelmingly positive step for Scotland to take. The use of bags of all shapes and sizes has environmental consequences, and a range of impacts that are detrimental to attempts to improve local environmental quality.

“All the evidence from similar initiatives in Wales and Northern Ireland points to significant reductions in bag use, and that has to be good news for cause of greater sustainability. The introduction of this charge, in only three weeks, will represent a major step forward towards a zero-waste future for Scotland.

“Additionally, the revenues generated from the charge will make a real difference to environmental charities across the country, and we look forward to working with a wide range of retailers to make the greatest difference possible with their bag levy proceeds.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful is the independent charity which campaigns, acts and educates on a range of local, national and global environmental issues which affect people’s quality of life. It is committed to making Scotland clean and green, today and tomorrow. Further details from

The Single Use Carrier Bag Charge legislation is set for introduction on 20th October. The Scottish Government has launched an awareness campaign today (Thursday) to widen information aware to shoppers, retailers and the wider public.



A leading social enterprise is being recognised by the Stirling-based mental health charity, Action in Mind, for excellence in its volunteer-led service provision. The charity’s Working Together Award for 2014 was received by Petra Biberbach, Chief Executive of PAS, the impartial organisation which inspires individuals to be aware of the planning process and their role within it.

The award was prompted by excellent and sensitive advice provided by Message Matters' client PAS to a local mental health carer over a planning application for her son with schizophrenia. The assistance provided was part of the existing Scotland-wide role of PAS in providing impartial advice on the planning process, through a national network of almost 400 volunteer planning advisors.

PAS is a trusted, impartial organisation with over 20 years of experience which inspires individuals to be aware of the planning process and their role within it. The social enterprise raises civic awareness of the positive effect good planning can create for all, as well as offering specialist training for seldom heard groups, including Gypsy/Travellers and black and ethnic minority groups. The training is run by various planning and community development professionals and helps groups’ understanding of the planning system and how they can influence it to best meet their particular needs. The organisation also provides aftercare and support.

Handing over the Working Together Award for 2014, Helena Scott Executive Director of Action in Mind said: “We are so delighted that Planning Aid for Scotland accepted our Working Together Award for 2014.  Recognising the huge contribution that volunteer planners make to helping local people navigate around the planning system is essential for ensuring we have communities that meet with everyone’s needs. 

“PAS is a leader in community engagement, often tackling what to many is difficult, accessing groups and communities that are disengaged from the mainstream with the subject of planning that is itself not always easy to understand.”

Chief Executive of PAS, Petra Biberbach, said:  “I was delighted to receive this award on behalf of our many Advice Service volunteers, this recognition gets to the very heart of what PAS is all about. Too many people, particularly the most vulnerable, find the planning process too complex and need the kind of impartial advice that only PAS and our volunteer advisors can provide.

“That advice is always provided free of charge, and PAS is providing more and more help year on year, all over Scotland.”




Message Matters has announced a partnership with Cicero Group which enables us to offer clients enhanced media relations and public affairs services in a wider range of strategically important locations.

Cicero Group, with four global locations, and  Message Matters, have each sought the partnership in the belief that, whatever the outcome on September 18, an increasing amount of power will reside in Edinburgh following the independence referendum, and that relations between the nations of the UK and the Scottish, Westminster and European Parliaments will be increasingly intertwined.

Discussions between Cicero and Message Matters have been taking place throughout the referendum campaign since early 2014.

The agencies are not merging, however they will work together on behalf of clients whose interests straddle the internal borders of the UK.


  • Agencies expect sustained period of change in Scotland regardless of the referendum outcome
  • Partnership will help UK and international organisations decipher the new Scotland
  • Partnership will offer integrated representation in Edinburgh, London, Brussels, New York and Singapore


Commenting, Cicero’s Co-Founder and chief counsel Iain Anderson said:

“This is an important strategic link for Cicero and gives us a presence in Scotland. The likely transfer of more power to the Scottish Parliament – whether as a result of independence or further devolution - means that UK and worldwide corporates must now take much more notice of Scotland, and as an agency we want to be involved in that.

“We’ve known Peter and Andy since Message Matters’ formation in 2012 and worked with them on several projects. We believe they are peerless in their strategic judgement, their adoption of cutting edge campaigning techniques, and are utterly convinced they are the right partners for us.”


Message Matters’ Managing Director Peter Duncan said:

“Cicero is one of the UK’s most respected agencies, with a worldwide presence and a roster of first-class media and political operators.

“This partnership is the biggest single development since the formation of our young company. We are small, but we operate and deliver to an exceptionally high standard and we believe we can fill a gap in Cicero’s offering at the same time as taking our service to a much wider audience.

“Companies and organisations across the private, public and voluntary sectors will have to face up to the reality of a rapidly changing landscape in Scotland.

“They will need insight, advice and execution in Edinburgh, London, Brussels and perhaps further afield. Cicero and Message Matters can provide it.”