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Our history

We can lay claim to being the oldest law firm in Scotland following our merger with Macdonalds in February 2013. We are proud of our history but we have also consistently moved with the times.

Opening of our new Quartermile offices, 14th December 2009.



Macdonalds can trace records of the firm back to John Wilson who put up his plate as a writer in Glasgow around 1614.


John Wilson was succeeded by two further John Wilsons. Records exist of the third John Wilson being admitted as a Notary Public at the age of 22 on the 20th February 1655.


He was followed by his nephew, also John Wilson, who was the first signatory  of the minutes of the Royal faculty of Procurators in 1668.


His son, known as “Reid- Heided" Wilson, followed his father and became town  Clerk of Glasgow in 1766 while continuing in private practice.


He was one of the thirty original members of the Glasgow Chamber of Commerce  established in 1783 – the first Chamber of its kind on mainland Britain.


A number of Wilsons continued the firm and in 1883 John Macdonald was taken into  partnership by the seventh Wilson. His portrait is on display in our office.

Also in 1883, Robert Jameson commenced practice and his business becameJameson Maclae and Baird.


The last of the Wilsons died in 1884 leaving John Macdonald to continue the practice.

He was succeeded by his son who took James Smith into partnership and the firmbecame “Macdonald Son and Smith”.


The two firms amalgamated immediately before the second world war as Macdonald Jameson and Co and then became Macdonald Jameson and Morris.


The Macdonalds name was adopted in 1977. 

Morton Fraser


The Morton Fraser practice in Edinburgh can be traced back to 1829, when it was founded by Charles Morton who set up as Greig & Morton WS in partnership with James Greig.


Following various mergers during the 19th century, in 1915 the firm underwent another amalgamation to become known as Morton, Smart, Macdonald & Prosser WS.


1961 saw another merger - with J & J Milligan WS. The two firms becoming known as Morton, Smart, Macdonald & Milligan WS.


In 1968 they merged again with Fraser, Stodart & Ballingall WS to become Morton, Fraser & Milligan WS.


Morton, Fraser & Milligan WS, shortened to Morton Fraser in 2000.


Morton Fraser merged with the commercial  practice of Robson McLean WS.


We opened an office in Glasgow in 2004.


Our London office opened in 2007 in response to client demand.


Morton Fraser merged with Edinburgh based law firm Skene Edwards.


Morton Fraser merged with Macdonalds in February 2013.

2016 and beyond

We continue to expand and develop to best serve our clients.