Law firm Thorntons targets further growth in Edinburgh

'There is a real buzz within the firm,' said Thorntons joint managing partner Craig Nicol. Picture: Contributed
'There is a real buzz within the firm,' said Thorntons joint managing partner Craig Nicol. Picture: Contributed
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Tayside-headquartered legal firm Thorntons has outlined plans to further grow its footprint in Edinburgh as fee income from the capital operation spirals well into seven figures.

Since 2011, the firm has grown from six members of staff in its Edinburgh office to in excess of 40, including a number of new partners.

There is a real buzz within the firm

Craig Nicol

It has now launched plans for a fresh recruitment drive that will swell the ranks of its commercial team further, and create senior level positions within employment, banking, intellectual property, agriculture and commercial property.

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The firm, which can trace its roots back to 1857 when Sir Thomas Thornton began a legal practice in Dundee, predicted that the Edinburgh operation would generate £2.5 million fee income in the current financial year, compared with the £300,000 or so booked in 2011.

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Thorntons, which expanded into the Scottish capital in 2004, said the office had enjoyed a period of rapid expansion with a number of senior lateral hires. The most recent appointment has been Alec Stewart, former head of Anderson Strathern Asset Management, as a partner. Eight partners and their teams now operate out of Thorntons’ Melville Street base.

Clients of the firm include SMEs, start-ups, entrepreneurs, charities, universities and other public bodies. A number of tender wins has seen the firm represent a growing number of clients in the Central Belt including the main clearing banks, surveying practice J&E Shepherd, Glasgow School of Art, the People’s Postcode Lottery and several University of Edinburgh spin-out ventures.

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Across the business, Thorntons operates a network of 12 offices, employs some 400 staff and has 46 partners.

Craig Nicol, joint managing partner, said: “As we see the benefit of our mergers being delivered alongside a clearly defined strategy for the coming years, there is a real buzz within the firm.

“We will keep building on our strong national and global links, but remain committed to the Scottish market and look forward to growing our successful business model further in Edinburgh.”

He added: “Throughout our expansion, the focus has remained the same – to provide our clients with the highest quality legal advice and strong client service.”

Nicol was recently named as managing partner of the year at the Scottish Legal Awards. In 2016, the firm was awarded the title of best large Scottish employer.

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