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Originally from Northern Ireland, Alan studied at the University of St Andrews before starting his professional career at Marks & Spencer. Following a successful period at Cadbury, he moved into Professional Services with KPMG (subsequently purchased by Atos) as a management consultant to leading Financial Services clients such as Barclays and to the Not-for-Profit sector. Alan completed fifteen years advising clients on operational and strategic transformation before joining the FTSE 250 company Hays in 2015 to establish the new James Harvard business.


Alan brings a wealth of experience in operational transformation and strategy development to Keltie. His vision for growth will build on the firm’s history as an innovative business with people at its heart.


Speaking about his appointment, Alan outlined his plans to ensure Keltie’s continued success in an ever-changing legal services market:


“Our challenge is to build on our existing agility to ensure we’re set for success in the Intellectual Property market and to evolve both proactively and quickly. Part of my role will be to ensure that we are operationally sound and efficient, offering increasing value for money to our clients as the IP market further globalises. The pandemic has undoubtedly shifted the market so we will work to keep Keltie at the leading edge of the IP profession”.


Joanne Hopley, Partner at Keltie, believes that bringing in Alan as CEO will be hugely beneficial to the decision-making process of the firm.


“Having Alan’s business acumen and strategy expertise is in line with our vision for a new way of working”, said Joanne. “With Alan on board we have a renewed confidence to move forward with bold and transformative decisions”.

Alan’s approach to business culture, based on trust and openness, is in tune with David Keltie’s vision that people flourish in an environment in which they can grow personally as well as professionally. Alan owes the growth and success of his previous businesses like James Harvard to putting people - colleagues and clients - at the centre of everything. He commented:


“At Keltie, there is a desire to grow in the right way and not to forget the principles on which the firm was founded, which attracted me so strongly. My engagement with the partners through the selection process made me feel at home, even before I joined”.


Alan started his new role with Keltie in January 2022. He is busy getting to know our people based across our six locations in the UK and Ireland.


We wish Alan all the best in his new position and are delighted to welcome him to the Keltie family.

Continue reading about Keltie welcomes Alan McFarlane as CEO
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