Thorntons brings agriculture to Edinburgh as turnover hits £14.3m high

Scottish firm Thorntons has strengthened its agriculture team with the hire of Morton Fraser partner Kenneth Mackay, the first lateral to be appointed to the group in the firm’s Edinburgh office.

Mackay joins an existing team of agricultural specialists who are mainly based in Perth. 

Thorntons co-managing partner Craig Nicol told The Lawyer that Thorntons had identified a gap in the Edinburgh market in the area of agricultural law. “We think there’s a niche there,” he said.

The hire follows a strong year for Thorntons, which achieved a record turnover figure of £14.3m at the end of the 2012/13 financial year, a rise of 8.3 per cent compared to 2011/12’s revenue of £13.2m.

Net profit was marginally up, from £1.9m in 2011/12 to £2m last year, but the addition of 1.6 full-time equivalent equity partners meant net profit dropped by 5 per cent, from £124,000 to £118,000. Around two-thirds of the firm’s partnership are in the equity.

Thorntons recently won a place on the Advanced Procurement for Universities and Colleges (APUC) panel (28 June 2013), the only Scottish firm to be selected for all Scottish lots.

Meanwhile fellow Scottish firm McClure Naismith has also reported figures for the last financial year. The firm saw turnover drop by 9 per cent, from £13.2m to £12m.

The results demonstrate the ongoing uncertainty in the Scottish market. Earlier this year Morton Fraser said its turnover had dropped by 2.8 per cent (4 July 2013), while Dundas & Wilson reported a decline of more than 10 per cent (19 July 2013).

However both Brodies (8 July 2013) and Harper Macleod (25 April 2013) have grown between 2011/12 and 2012/13, with turnover rises of 7.5 per cent and 9.5 per cent respectively.