14 Mar 2023

Thorntons appoints commercial real estate partners in Glasgow

MSI's Scottish full-service law firm member Thorntons has appointed two new partners to its commercial real estate team as part of a strengthening of its services in the sector, and its ongoing expansion in the Central Belt.

Paul Haniford, one of the most respected and well-established legal figures in the Scottish commercial real estate sector, joined Thorntons at the beginning of this month [February], followed by Jayne Macfarlane, who is operating at partner level for the first time.

The pair are based in the firm’s Glasgow office and will have a key role in helping Thorntons to achieve its ambitious growth plans for the west of Scotland. The firm is set to open its first permanent home in Glasgow following client demand. The premises, located in the city’s prestigious George Square, will double the firm’s existing capacity in Glasgow when it launches in April.

Paul is experienced in all aspects of commercial real estate across a variety of sectors, including retail, offices, industrial and leisure, acting for investors, funders, developers and corporate occupiers from the UK and overseas.


Jayne, who has more than 12 years of experience in the sector, advises clients across a wide spectrum of matters including those requiring expertise in investment, development, retail, industrial, office and mixed use.

Paul said: “Thorntons is one of Scotland’s largest independent full-service law firms, and it is exciting to be in the vanguard of its west of Scotland expansion plans.

“It’s been a busy few first weeks, meeting with the wider team and I look forward to collaborating closely with colleagues across the Thorntons network on a variety of workstreams. With 14 partners and more than 30 lawyers in commercial real estate alone, and many more across complementary disciplines we are well placed to tackle the most challenging of mandates, whether in relation to skillsets, complexity or turnaround expectation.”

Jayne added: “Paul and I have worked together for a number of years, and we’re delighted to be joining such a large and experienced commercial real estate team. Our appointments will reinforce Thorntons’ strategic ambitions in Glasgow and add to the existing strength and depth of the commercial real estate expertise at the firm.

“On a personal level, it’s very rewarding to be joining the Thorntons partnership group and develop further my experience and skills.”

The firm also recently welcomed legal director Richard Hart, who has over 25 years’ experience in the real estate sector acting for housebuilders, landowners and tenants on all aspects of site acquisitions and sales, and Abbi Armstrong, who moved from residential conveyancing to join the commercial real estate team as a senior solicitor. Both are based in the Glasgow office.

Lesley Larg, Managing Partner, Thorntons, said: “Paul and Jayne join us at a pivotal time for Thorntons and will play a key role in our west of Scotland strategy as well as boost our commercial real estate team.

“We will continue to pursue lateral hires and build on our successful track record of strategic mergers and acquisitions as part of our expansion plans.”

Thorntons has 13 offices ranging from Glasgow, Edinburgh and Montrose to St Andrews, Arbroath and Perth