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Our Story

Throughout our history, we have maintained the balance between a pioneering, innovative spirit and an uncompromising commitment to excellence in all we do.

A singular balance

Over the years, we have created legal precedents and won numerous awards. Importantly, we have also generated sustainable economic growth and helped communities to flourish.

Deep roots and defining relationships

Our story begins in 1749, when John Davidson of Stewarfield and Haltree became a WS. The Crown Agent and co-founder of The Royal Society of Edinburgh, he was a leading figure in the Scottish Enlightenment.

Davidson represented a number of clients for whose descendants we still act today, including the Buccleuch family. Davidson and Henry Scott, the third Duke of Buccleuch, corresponded regularly with the great Scottish philosopher and economist Adam Smith. Davidson also acted for the Duke when he became Governor of the Royal Bank of Scotland in 1778.

Davidson was renowned for his expertise in land transactions and was a friend of Gifford-born Rev John Witherspoon, a Founding Father of the United States and a signatory of the Declaration of Independence.

Depth and diversity

Today we take our name from the union of two eminent Scottish legal firms, J&F Anderson and Strathern & Blair, who merged in 1992. In 2005 we saw our first office in Glasgow open, and in 2008 we were joined by the commercial boutique practice of Kerr & Co, enhancing our growing presence in Glasgow further still. In 2008 we strengthened our East Lothian base in Haddington by merging with long-standing private client practice McVies. By 2011 we had been joined by the clients and people of real estate specialists, Bell & Scott. We have now acquired niche construction practice ADLP and merged with the well-established Glasgow private client and litigation firm, Jeffrey Aitken.

We believe that diversity is a catalyst for the best and most enduring ideas, and it’s when you mix contrasting people, concepts, cultures and characteristics that the greatest insights are born. This belief inspires our recruitment policy and shapes the way we do business.

Our timeline

Explore the long and rich history of our firm by checking out our timeline here.