Wright Johnston & Mackenzie (WJM) has agreed a merger with a smaller law firm in Inverness which it says will take turnover to more than £7 million.

It has confirmed a tie-up with MacArthur & Co as part of a push to extend its services further into the Highlands.

All four partners and nine staff at MacArthur & Co are staying on as part of the deal which is expected to formally complete at the start of February next year.

WJM already has an office in Inverness, along with bases in Edinburgh and Glasgow, but the merger will see the enlarged firm occupying one site in the city.

MacArthur & Co offers a range of private client functions, including conveyancing and estate agency, as well as commercial services.

Angus MacLeod, a corporate partner at WJM’s Inverness office, said: “Both firms have ambitions to grow the business and provide our clients with continuity of service and access to a wider range of expert legal services.

“These will be delivered by people with local knowledge who live and work in the Highlands with the support of the additional resources and infrastructure of WJM.”

The addition of MacArthur & Co will mean WJM, which had turnover of £6.48m in the 12 months to March 31, has a total staff of 118 including 24 partners and 51 fee earners.

MacArthur & Co senior partner Ian MacDonald, who is also company secretary at football club Inverness Caledonian Thistle, believes the deal can build on the heritage of both firms.

The operations of the merged firm in Inverness will move to a new office next year.

WJM chief executive Liam Entwistle said: “This exciting merger provides a strong platform for growth in the Highlands and Islands. There is a strong cultural fit and we believe this merger will give us a real competitive advantage.”

MacArthur & Co was established in 1967 having taken over the business of Stewart Rule & Co, which had operated in Inverness for more than a century.