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THE TRANSFER OF LINDSAYS’ FOOTPRINT OVER TWO CENTURIES
27 August 2015
The original Fothringham and Lindsay WS premises were at 80 George Street, also the residence of Frederick Fothringham. Over the next 40 or so years, Lindsays (Scotland) occupied various New Town addresses, until, in 1862, the then three partners bought 32 Charlotte Square. The purchase price was an enviable £3,700.The firm stayed at 32 Charlotte Square for over 100 years. Having bought adjoining premises at 14 and 16 South Charlotte Street, by 1921 the partners owned the whole corner site.The house at 16 South Charlotte Street was the birthplace of Alexander Graham Bell, the inventor of the telephone. The house featured in a short film made by Edinburgh District Council to publicise the city as a tourism and convention centre. The actor Sean Connery is shown leaning out of the attic of the Lindsays offices publicising the connection with Alexander Graham Bell.In 1979 we left Charlotte Square. The elegant Georgian rooms of the building were too big to be suitable as offices, and it would have been unthinkable to split them into smaller units. The next moves were to 1 Rothesay Terrace – pleasant, but cramped, and, with seven floors, an athletic challenge for staff and clients – and then Atholl Crescent.However, a modern law firm needs modern premises, and in 2006 the firm moved their head office to Caledonian Exchange, where they are still based. With over 17,000 sq ft, they had the space to take on new staff and extend work in areas such as corporate and technology, commercial and employment. Last year they relocated our Dundee premises to larger, modern, open-plan offices at Seabraes House and following our recent merger became RSB Lindsays in Tayside and acquired a new office in the city centre. Their contemporary offices have improved communication and team-working, and significantly boosted efficiency.Other developments in terms of location and premises include acquiring, through mergers in recent years, a presence in North Berwick, Glasgow and, as noted above, Dundee.The firm’s staff and clients have many nostalgic memories of the old offices – for example, the partners’ bowler hats on a table in the foyer at Charlotte Square indicating if they were in the office. But the modernisation of the physical footprint has improved service and facilitated growth – not just in terms of numbers but in terms of what they can do for their clients.Edinburgh’s Georgian townhouses are a wonderful architectural heritage, but the firm is happier to be where they are today – with closer relationships with clients across Scotland, a larger and stronger team, and offices in three major cities.