BTO law firm expands with new Edinburgh office

Law firm BTO has expanded its footprint in Edinburgh after taking up new office space capable of housing more than treble its existing workforce in the city.

Alan Borthwick: Substantial investment in new premises

Since moving from the New Town to the first floor of One Edinburgh Quay three years ago, its headcount at the canalside development has grown to 30, with “significant” expansion in its clinical defence, construction and family law teams.

Having outgrown its 4,850 square foot office, it has now moved upstairs to take up more than 11,000sq ft of space on the second floor of the building, giving it room for up to 100 people.

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Alan Borthwick, who became BTO’s chairman in April after more than 30 years with the firm, said: “We are making a substantial investment in our new premises and are confident that it will be the catalyst to enable the growth of our client base and increase the range of client services we offer, all of which will secure our future as a premier independent Scottish law firm.”

Edinburgh Quay, a joint venture between Miller Developments and British Waterways, has led to the regeneration of the terminus of the Union Canal at Fountainbridge. A neighbouring gap site, formerly the home of McEwan’s Fountain Brewery, has been earmarked for homes, office and retail space, as well as the new location for Boroughmuir High School.

Business adviser and accountant Johnston Carmichael, which has 600 staff and partners in Scotland, also revealed expansion plans yesterday after spending more than £700,000 to boost its presence in Aberdeen.

Niall Farquharson, the firm’s joint managing partner in the city, said the investment in its Albyn Place and Carden Place sites highlighted its confidence in Aberdeen’s economic prospects and follows a number of recent hires. The latest appointment saw PwC veteran Mark Watson join as a tax director.

Farquharson added: “The past 12 months have seen a significant number of new clients, which is particularly pleasing and is an impressive reflection of the confidence Aberdeen’s thriving business community has in Johnston Carmichael.”