LEITH-based law firm Watermans Legal has bulked up its offering with the acquisition of fellow Edinburgh outfit Wright & Co.

Thanks to the deal, Watermans, which has an office in Glasgow as well as in Edinburgh, now operates two brands, with Watermans Accident Claims and Care looking after its traditional personal injury client base.

What was Wright and Co, meanwhile, has rebranded as Watermans Legal and will focus on property, family and private client work.

Watermans managing director Scott Whyte, who joined the firm from personal injury specialists Thompsons Solicitors in 2010, said the driver for the deal was to be able to offer a wider range of services to its personal injury clients.

“Over the last 10 years or so we have taken the view to specialise solely in personal injury work and we have grown very significantly in that time,” Mr Whyte said.

“I joined the business at the tail-end of 2010 and it was turning over £800,000. I took over managing the business in 2014 and we were turning over about £2.5 million – last year we were £4.8m.

“We’ve grown massively but the frustration has been that we tend to send clients off with a cheque in their hand and a smile on their face but we’ve not been able to offer anything else to them.

“We want to take that goodwill and say we can now do this for you – we can write your will, do a power of attorney, buy and sell your house.”

All three of Wright & Co’s solicitors, including founder Donald Wright, have moved across to Watermans to handle this side of the business.

Mr Whyte said the firm, which works for clients across Scotland, would now be looking at ways to further expand the business, which could include boosting its online offering.

“The way we have operated with personal injury, we probably only see about five per cent of the clients we work for – everything is dealt with over the phone or by email or letter,” he said.

“Generally, from a small transaction point of view, clients are happy with that – everyone is busy and they don’t necessarily have the time to go out and spend an hour in someone’s office.”

Mr Whyte said the firm would be looking at how the new services it now offers could fit with that delivery model.

The deal is part of a growing trend for consolidation among high street practices.

Earlier this month Edinburgh firms Allan McDougall Solicitors and McQueen Legal joined forces to form seven-partner outfit Allan McDougall McQueen.

Like Watermans the enlarged firm, which has nine offices in Edinburgh and the Lothians and a combined income of £4m, operates separate brands for its different business streams.

Its private client, family and property teams trade as McDougall McQueen and its personal injury and employment practices use the name Allan McDougall Solicitors.

That deal came after Glasgow firm Mitchells Roberton, which took over west end practice Adie Hunter earlier this year, further expanded its practice with the acquisition of Kerr Barrie.

Following the deals Mitchells Roberton has eight partners among a total headcount of 60.