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Services for Solicitors Outside Scotland

After you’ve helped your clients achieve success in your marketplace, we can help your clients achieve success in ours: Scotland. As one of Scotland’s leading law firms, we are perfectly placed to partner firms from England and Wales. Our ‘true’ partnerships serve your best interests and provides you with the service levels your clients expect.

Partnering with Thorntons gives you:

  • A partner-led service - experienced people who understand the sectors your clients are operating in and the specialisms you deliver in England & Wales.
  • Teamwork - we’re part of your team, providing you with the strength, depth and responsiveness you demand of your own team.
  • Clarity not competition - we’re clear from the outset how the client relationship is run.
  • Value - local expertise without the global price tag.

There are particular Scottish elements to areas such as succession planning, real estate, construction, banking and litigation. Partnering with Thorntons - a genuinely independent Scottish firm - means that there is no threat of placing work with a global firm you maybe in competition with. Building long term relationships is what’s important to us. As always, we do what’s right.

Why Thorntons?


Partner led advice with pace, capability and commerciality.


Strength in depth to handle complex and specialist Scottish work.


We have deep and long-lasting relationships with our clients and intermediaries.


Founded in 1857, we are one of Scotland's oldest law firms.


22 Accredited Specialists and 87 Solicitors ranked in Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners

Lesley Larg, Managing Partner

"We offer strength, depth and responsiveness with a service led by specialist Partners who really understand the marketplace they’re operating in. Match that with our pace, capabilities and commerciality and you have a partner firm you can rely on again and again.”

Lesley Larg, Managing Partner at Thorntons Solicitors

Service expertise and experience

Thorntons is a full-service legal firm. We provide a wide range of expert legal services for both businesses, individuals and families. Of course, some areas of law are universal to Scotland, England and Wales. But it is the nuances, the understanding of the local marketplace, and the hidden commercial opportunities, that help make your partnership with Thorntons a success. Below is a list of services where our specialists can bring their Scottish specific expertise to help you and your clients.

With one of the largest dedicated teams in the Scottish market, our Commercial Real Estate Team of over 30 solicitors has an outstanding reputation for delivering a high quality and seamless partner-led service to our clients.

From buying and selling to development, construction and leasing, every commercial real estate deal is unique. Whether you or your client are a developer, buyer, seller, landlord, tenant or investor, you require legal support that understands your specific project needs, challenges and opportunities. Our in-depth market knowledge and expertise means we can help open up opportunities for you across all our office locations.

Ranked in both Legal 500 and Chambers & Partners our specialist sector-based units include:  Education, Social Housing, Retail, Healthcare, Energy and Infrastructure.

Key Contacts
Gary Thomas, Partner
Ewan Miller, Partner
01382 346812

With our eyes firmly focused on all things Scotland, our Corporate & Commercial team is your ideal partner for referral work from England and Wales. Highly responsive and pragmatic, we see ourselves as an extension of your own team.

We like to build real relationships - and we do so by providing a partner-led service. Something which does not come at a premium as we are competitively-priced based only in Scotland.

We have a thorough understanding of the differences between Scottish and English contract law. Examples of this coming into play would be where a client is buying a property in Scotland or acquiring a business with Scottish clients. We also advise employee ownership trusts and how they apply in Scotland. Our Ventures & Innovations team can also advise on Scottish business and start up opportunities. We also carry out work for banking and funding arrangements. 

We have a broad corporate skillset. Combined with our joined-up approach, we can help you spot - and capitalise on - potential commercial opportunities.

Key Contacts
Robbie Francis, Partner
Alistair Lang, Partner

With five senior partners leading a large and knowledgeable team, we provide a responsive, professional, partner-led service to meet your clients’ demands.

We deal with a wide range of Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation matters including contract law disputes, contentious private client litigation, licensing work, regulatory work, banking and finance disputes, commercial and residential property litigation, rural disputes, education law matters, and debt recovery.

We deal with a wide range of Dispute Resolution and Commercial Litigation matters including contract law disputes, contentious private client litigation, licensing work, regulatory work, banking and finance disputes, commercial and residential property litigation, rural disputes, education law matters, and debt recovery.

We also work on contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters - our partner, Stephanie Carr, being accredited as a specialist in Insolvency Law by the Law Society of Scotland.

As one of Scotland’s most successful independent law firms we are not formally linked with any one law firm in England - however, we frequently act for clients based in England and Wales. As an example, we act for English landlords who have residential property interests in Scotland. We also regularly act for English companies seeking to recover debts from debtors based in Scotland, through referrals from firms in England.

Our experienced team members regularly appear at Sheriff Courts across Scotland and at a variety of Tribunals. Our solicitors are regularly involved in complex/high value cases where they instruct Advocates to appear in cases
at the Court of Session, and Supreme Court. We also have an in-house Solicitor Advocate resource which can be called on as required.

When it comes to the handling of disputes and being assisted and represented in Alternative Dispute Resolution forums of any kind in Scotland, you’re in good hands with the team at Thorntons.

Key Contacts
Stephanie Carr, Partner
Scott Milne, Partner

With our experience and expertise on cross border projects, our Insolvency & Restructuring team is the ideal partner for referral work from England & Wales.

We’re able to fully understand the complexities of translating your jurisdiction to ours as our team members have worked throughout the UK having been based in London, Manchester, Birmingham and Northern Ireland: and it’s work we routinely do today.

Our knowledge is extensive and we deal in all aspects of insolvency, both contentious and non-contentious - something we believe should be a given. And while we may share the same Insolvency Act, we understand they
are applied differently on different sides of the border following two different sets of rules.

We’re very experienced in all aspects of insolvency in many sectors of the economy and are one of the few teams in Scotland that routinely accept instructions on the insolvency of Regulated Entities in the financial sector. We routinely act for Lenders (from the ‘High Street’ to Asset Finance), Trade Creditors, Directors and as you would expect, Insolvency Practitioners.

Professional, responsive, and easy to work with - we have a natural team-building ethic and as you should expect, a commitment to delivering the same excellent client service that you do. We aim to be your go-to in Scotland for any queries you may have.

Key Contacts
Pamela Muir, Partner
Anne Miller, Partner

When the world comes to Scotland, we’re ready. We act for a number of globally mobile clients who have assets in Scotland. 

We often act as part of a multi-jurisdictional team, advising high net worth individuals and families on the Scottish aspects of a variety of succession planning issues.

We advise on the intricacies of Scottish Forced Heirship rules, Scottish Wills and Scottish Continuing and Welfare Powers of Attorney. We can also advise on all aspects of Scottish Trust Law and assist in obtaining Scottish Probate (known as Confirmation) as part of the estate administration process.

Our Private Client Lawyers are accredited members of STEP (Society of Trusts Estate Practitioners) and recognised as experts in their field.

Key Contacts
Audrey Dishington, Partner
Chris Gardiner, Partner

With a wide geographical spread and a depth of knowledge of local areas, our Residential Property service is unrivalled in Scotland. 

Over 40 years ago we were the first solicitors in Scotland to open an estate agency: providing a complete service for our clients - from the sales process through to the legal service.

Our breadth of exposure and understanding of the property market in Scotland is second to none. From 1st January to 30th September 2023, we’ve been involved in 2,515 sale and purchase transactions, including 294 first time buyer transactions.

With a different property system to England we are perfectly placed to advise your clients on all property matters in Scotland. We also take care of executry sales where we can carry out the appropriate marketing of the property
aspects of an estate.

We take a highly professional and ethical approach to our work, guided by the Law Society of Scotland and you only need to refer to our Trustpilot scores to see this is indeed the case.

Key Contacts
David Mathieson, Partner
Hannah Fraser, Partner
0131 624 6806

Scale, capability and experience: that’s what sets our Family Law team apart. We cover all courts in Scotland, with offices in the major towns and cities. Along with four partners we have 6 solicitors accredited in Family Law, nine trained in collaboration or mediation, two lecturing at universities and at least five solicitors who have qualified for an excess of 20 years. The team are also ranked in both Legal 500 & Chambers.

Our experience is extensive. We’ve handled numerous high value cases. We act for parties cross border. And we’re confident enough to be able to provide a likely outcome even before a case is presented to a Scottish court of law. Naturally, over a long period we have strong relationship with Scottish advocates.

With our commitment to mediation and collaboration, our focus is to solving problems and sorting things out rather than going down a more contentious route.

However if your client has a case in court we have experience in dealing with all types of family law court actions including financial provision for cohabitees and married persons who have separated or are divorcing, for child
arrangements, adoption proceedings, surrogacy and child abduction cases.

We believe we have one of the strongest Family Law teams in Scotland. One that is ready to help provide you and your clients with a successful outcome.

Key Contacts
Sandra Sutherland, Partner
Lucy Metcalf, Partner

We know Employment Law in Scotland. With four Law Society of Scotland accredited specialists amongst the team, our expertise and knowledge are a real advantage for your clients.

While employment law is broadly comparable across Scotland and the rest of the UK, key differences still exist - particularly in terms of Tribunal processes. For example, witness statements are not often used in Scottish Employment Tribunals. Also, solicitors in Scotland appear at Tribunals themselves, rather than instruct an advocate (barrister). Our solicitors have extensive experience of appearing at Tribunal and securing successful results for our clients. There are also some Scottish nuances in terms of the sectors our clients operate in, particularly where funding ultimately comes from the Scottish government.

We advise employers across a broad range of public and private sectors including education, healthcare, housing, manufacturing, hospitality, charity, digital technology, software engineering, and more. We have significant
experience advising on all employment and discrimination matters including TUPE transfers, complex redundancy situations, and negotiating exit packages for senior employees.

Employment law is dynamic and fast changing and so we offer a broad range of bespoke training to clients on practical matters such as performance and absence management, together with regular legal updates to ensure
our clients keep abreast of their obligations. 

We hope to build a reciprocal relationship with colleagues in England and Wales where we can refer work on as well as receive it and ensure our clients receive tailored and relevant advice. We have picked out some key
examples on the next page to demonstrate our breadth of skills and experience and some of the areas where the position in Scotland is unique.

Key Contacts
Noele McClelland, Partner
Chris Phillips, Partner

When it comes to Intellectual Property and IT, we handle pretty much everything. From trade marks and brand protection, to software and IT arrangements, working with the creative industries and advising on all aspects of copyright, advising universities and research institutes on their IP - including plant variety rights - to all aspects of commercial contracts, our knowledge and expertise is extensive. Our work covers anything from music to technology, to advising on lottery and gambling rule regulations, website terms and conditions and protecting innovations in life sciences.

We offer a second-to-none, comprehensive Trade Mark Service through our in-house trade marks agency, covering all aspects of trade mark work: including brand management, global trade mark applications, advice on trade mark infringement and passing off and portfolio management, meaning that all of your trade mark and brand needs can be handled by us.

Dealing with this work is a large team of experts, including a dual-qualified Chartered Trade Mark Attorney something which is offered by only a very small number of firms in Scotland. The UK-wide nature of intellectual property matters puts us in a great position to provide our expertise to firms in England and Wales. Hopefully yours.

Key Contacts
Liam McMonagle, Partner
Kirsty Stewart, Partner & Trade Mark Attorney

Immigration & Visa specialists are few and far between in Scotland. We consider that we have one of the best offerings.

With over 22 years’ experience in UK immigration, we have an immigration practitioner recognised as top ranked by both Legal 500 and Chambers and Partners for Scotland. Accredited as a specialist by the Law Society of Scotland, they are often called on by the Home Office’s Engagement Team for input on policy changes.

We help people achieve their goal of moving to the UK, whether it is for family or work reasons.

We work on a wide range of issues such as Right to Work, Sponsor Licences for businesses, student visa applications, challenges to visa refusal decisions, adoption cases, nationality cases and family visas (both for ex-pats returning home and couples who meet in the UK). For example, we successfully advised a client with making an application for his wife and step-son and the evidence required to meet the Home Office’s stringent sole responsibility requirements.

For many families relocating to the UK from overseas, we work closely alongside other Thorntons Law specialists to provide a one-stop service which often includes support with property purchases, inheritance and wealth planning and referrals to other trusted advisors in our professional network.

Ultimately, we are dedicated to serving Scotland, its people and families, and their legal needs. Which, understandably, you may not get the same commitment from an English law firm.

Key Contacts
Gurjit Pall, Legal Director
Jacqueline Moore, Consultant

As one of the very few law firms offering specialist Data Protection services in the UK, many companies in Scotland and England turn to us for specialist legal and compliance advice. We like to think we are unique at what we do.

With our broad range of knowledge comes a broad range of clients, covering a wide range of sectors: including retail, research, property, tech, aviation, healthcare, professional services, charities, and education.

As no one size fits all, we provide a tailored approach, getting to know our clients, understanding how they operate, the risks they face and what their needs are so we can offer practical solutions.

Operating on a retainer basis, we provide outsourced data protection services which includes providing proactive support to assess compliance levels; and implement and roll out a data protection framework in your organisation including policies, procedures and training. We’re also on hand to support day-to-day business as usual, including handling data subject requests, personal data breaches, supporting on-boarding new suppliers, data sharing and legal contract reviews.

Ad hoc instructions are also carried out - such as gap analysis, data protection impact assessments, contract review, corporate and employment support, redaction services, Freedom of Information, and subject access requests.

Keen to share our specialist knowledge, we offer tailored training sessions across the UK, as well as hosting monthly webinar broadcasts. 

Whether you need your DPO outsourced, or we work alongside your clients, you can trust us to meet all your data protection needs.

Key Contacts
Morgan O’Neill, Director of Data Protection Services
0131 624 6854
Loretta Maxfield, Partner

With a team of Professional Negligence specialists, we’re more than qualified to look after your clients’ needs in Scotland.

As a full service firm, our team of experienced Solicitors have access to specialist disciplines, alternative dispute resolution options and a range of funding options for clients who have been let down by a professional advisor or service provider. 

Working for pursuers, we cover a broad range of sectors, including accountants, architects, engineers, construction, tradesmen and builders, solicitors, surveyors, and financial advisors. For potential claims in Scotland, using us,

Scottish lawyers, you know you will get an outcome without delay. Furthermore, we have a commercial outlook and will look to spot further opportunities that may be of benefit to your firm and clients.

We firmly believe in building relationships and sharing not just our knowledge and expertise with you, but our referral work too.

Key Contacts
Mike Kemp, Partner
Anne Miller

One of Scotland’s largest law firms

With over 580 people, Thorntons is firmly established as one of Scotland’s leading law firms. With offices across major cities and towns in Scotland - including Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee and Inverness - we believe we are at a distinct advantage when it comes to understanding and serving Scotland’s local sectors and communities: whereas other law firms may only have a presence in just Edinburgh & Glasgow.

Committed to Scotland

Thorntons’ roots can be traced back to 1857 when Sir Thomas Thornton started his own legal firm in Dundee. We have grown steadily over those 165 or so years and our commitment to Scotland has never wavered.

Our strategic goal is continued success and growth in Scotland. In the last five years alone, our turnover has increased by 28%. Our success has been built upon values present from our origin, values which are still our focus today: a high quality legal service; the talent of our people; and the commitment we have to longterm partnerships with our clients.