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Allan Rooney, a Scot in New York, didn't have to look far when expanding his legal firm with fellow Scot, Nimmo. So why was their Scottish roots so instrumental to grow their firm?

Finding Nimmo

Take two Scots visionaries and add a healthy helping of business acumen. Next, stir in some burning ambition from an old flame they call Scotland. Then allow to simmer for several years.

The result? A perfect recipe for a thriving legal operation to become a flower of Scotland both sides of the Atlantic. 


Formed in 2016 through a merger of Rooney PC and Nimmo WS, the corporate legal business had been running for 7-8 years independently, with offices in Edinburgh, London and New York. 

Expansion and growth from and into Scotland were fundamental ingredients to the firm: the transatlantic knowledge of Allan Rooney and John Nimmo qualifies them to give expert advice to Scottish and UK companies, looking to expand their operations into the larger US market. 

They are also ideally placed to support US companies investing in Scotland in particular, and more widely across the UK and Europe. Expanding into Scotland and London from the states would appear to serve up a tasty proposition.  

What does Scotland have to offer? 

Allan Rooney says: “There is tremendous potential in Scotland because of the level of skills available. Its education system produces a remarkable number of skilled people, and currently those skills are relatively affordable to the US market. There are also particular areas of expertise – in technology, pharmaceuticals and life sciences.  The academic work in these subjects is world class and this feeds into commercial opportunities.”


John Nimmo says: “It is quite common for law firms to have a preferred partner in another country, but we have gone for an altogether closer working relationship by merging economically. It offers huge benefits like when you have building work done in your house: You can engage a plumber, a plasterer and a electrician and manage the job yourself or engage a building contractor to oversee the whole project."

"We are offering our clients that kind of joined up approach. Businesses with transatlantic interests may get the best advice in the UK and the US, but together this doesn’t always add up to the best advice overall. Our expertise in Scotland, England and the US means we can offer something more valuable and more connected.”

As a Globalscot, and a business ambassador for Scotland, Allan is part of a network that connects successful Scots around the world. He says: “GlobalScots are people who want to give something back and I’m delighted to be a part of that. New York business, like anywhere else, runs on connections. I can help Scots to connect with opportunities as a supportive voice and someone who encourages.” 

Lawyers and entrepreneurs

Rooney adds: “Scotland has a reputation as a country that produces entrepreneurs. We want to be there to support, encourage and help them achieve the commercial potential of their ideas.”

Since 2006, Allan has been a Globalscot. He has a long-term commitment to helping others recognise Scotland’s strengths, reflecting its strong talent and business connections with London, and is delighted to spread the word through his business connections as opportunities arise.  And, as he says with pride, he has enjoyed wearing a kilt to every single wedding he has been to in the US.

Scotland is here for the taking

Rooney Nimmo is now focusing on consolidating its new offices and developing work both in London and in San Francisco. John sums up: “Sometimes, businesses are held back from crossing international boundaries by bureaucracy and red tape. We can help businesses to see their way through that, whether they are considering investing in Scotland or looking to internationalise from a Scottish base.”

Allan concludes: “The London venture has already been way more successful than we expected and helps to support what we are doing in Edinburgh and New York. Add to that our foothold in San Francisco with a team there with strong international connections to Europe and the Far East. All of this is contributing to our strong transatlantic law firm.”

Like Nimmo and Rooney, Scottish Development International can help your business with many aspects to ensure it thrives on both sides of the Atlantic. SDI can assist with accessing funding, suitable premises and R&D to programmes, partners and investment opportunities. In fact, just about anything to help you grow from Scotland.

Discover how SDI can make your business a flower of Scotland