Thorntons weathers Covid storm as Lesley Larg becomes managing partner

Thorntons weathers Covid storm as Lesley Larg becomes managing partner

Craig Nicol

Thorntons has reported a 2.6 per cent growth in turnover for the year to 31 May 2020 to £30.5 million as well as an increase in profits of 12 per cent.

Although the final months of trading were impacted by the pandemic, the 58-partner firm remained on a firm financial footing as a result of its five-year strategic plan, which has seen it grow through a series of strategic mergers and acquisitions.

The most recent financial results represent the first full year since it acquired the Edinburgh operation of Morisons LLP. Thorntons is now one of the largest full service firms in Scotland, employing over 500 people in 11 locations across the country.

Craig Nicol, managing partner at Thorntons, said: “The business continued to grow and turnover and profitability increased as we entered the last year of our 2015-2020 strategic plan. Our increased commercial offering in Edinburgh and in Glasgow played a significant role and our new colleagues who arrived following the Morisons acquisition settled in well.

“Like many businesses, our trading for the last months of the financial year were hit by the onset of Covid-19. Many of our markets were significantly impaired and, in the case of the residential property market, closed completely. Court closures meant significant challenges in our Dispute Resolution teams.

“These financial results represent our continued commitment to invest for the long term and our clear strategy for growth across our business. Our investment in technology over the years meant that we were able to implement a rapid transition to home and agile working, and our people showed remarkable resilience, ensuring that our clients continue to be served well. Whilst currently we are still lagging behind last year’s performance, we have recovered well and we are now looking forward to planning for our next five year strategic period.”

Mr Nicol has also announced that he will stand down on May 31 after 10 years as managing partner, seven of which were spent as joint managing partner with Scott Milne.

He will be replaced by partner Lesley Larg, an IP specialist who has sat on the firm’s board for several years.

“It was always my intention to step aside as Managing Partner in the next couple of years and there is no doubt that the time is right,” added Mr Nicol. “We are now considering our next five year strategic plan – and how best to deliver for the changing requirements of our clients and colleagues in the post-Covid environment – and  I am delighted to be handing over the reins to Lesley who has the skill, drive and expertise to lead the firm through this next period.

“Over the past few years, Thorntons has clearly demonstrated our commitment to investing for the long term and we are now firmly established as one of Scotland’s leading law firms. We remain committed to providing our clients with a full service offering and our business levels remain strong amid continued uncertainty in the economy as we look towards 2021 and beyond.”

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