DUNDEE firm Thorntons Solicitors has set its sights on further growth by acquisition after bedding down three deals in the past two years.

In September 2014 the firm took over Cupar’s Steel Eldridge Stewart followed by St Andrews firm Murray Donald in November of that year. In June 2016 it took over Kirkcaldy firm Clarkson Hamilton.

The firm’s latest LLP accounts, which have just been filed at Companies House, revealed that turnover increased by 14 per cent to £22.8 million over the 12 months to the end of May 2016. Joint managing partner Craig Nicol said this was largely a result of the former two deals.

“It was our first full year after the mergers that we did in Fife and what we’re going to see in the next few years is the real benefits of those mergers,” he said.

“Our clients in Fife are now going into the wider range of specialist services we’ve got across the whole business.”

Profits for the year were up by a smaller amount at 7.5 per cent, taking them to £4.3m, with chairman Colin Graham noting that “continuing investment and merger integration costs” had had an impact.

At the beginning of the 2015/16 year the firm moved into new premises on Edinburgh’s Melville Street, doubling the amount of space it has in the city. The office, which launched 12 years ago, is now home to seven partners.

As a result Thorntons’ property costs nudged up from £1.38m to £1.39m year on year, but this was offset by the amount it receives from subletting part of its Dundee headquarters increasing from £87,000 to £208,000.

Legal Focus, page 22