Law tie-up

Thorntons Solicitors in merger with Stuart & Stuart

Thorntons chairman Colin Graham with Lesley Larg and Chris Anderson

Two of Scotland’s oldest legal firms – Thorntons and Stuart & Stuart – have announced a merger of their practices.

Both firms trace their roots back to the nineteenth century – Stuart & Stuart to 1804 and Thorntons Solicitors to 1857 – and the new, expanded business will be Scotland’s fourth biggest with 564 staff, of which 71 are partners.

Stuart & Stuart senior partner Chris Anderson described the merger, which takes effect on 1 April as “a fantastic move for two firms which share a remarkably similar outlook.”

He added: “In a career which has seen its fair share of deals, this was one of the simplest and most positive transactions. Both firms have a long and proud pedigree of client service and I have no doubt the newly enlarged firm will continue to forge ahead.”

Under the terms of the merger, Stuart & Stuart’s entire team of 31 will transfer to Thorntons. Mr Anderson will transfer as a consultant to the merged firm and John MacKenzie, Fergus Macmillan, Andrew Bertram and Emma Horne will be appointed partners at Thorntons, with Ken Lauder appointed a legal director.

Thorntons, which recently posted a record turnover for last year of £31.2m has offices in Dundee, Edinburgh, Glasgow, Perth and across Angus and Fife.

Thorntons managing partner Lesley Larg emphasised the importance of ensuring its expansion aligns with the values it brings to clients and the communities it serves.

She said: “It is incredibly encouraging, having received many, many approaches over the years, that Stuart & Stuart have chosen Thorntons as a trusted home for their clients and their people.

“It is central to our strategic plan that we remain a full-service law firm and accelerate our growth in the Central Belt, and therefore Stuart & Stuart is a superb, complementary fit, given its culture, history and commitment to outstanding client service.”

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