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Mackinnons - Through the years

From the early days in Aberdeen to the West End and then Royal Deeside …..

The firm of Mackinnons has seen many changes over the years, not least of all in its place of business. 

Our records show that the first office of Lachlan McKinnon, Advocate, opened its doors in 1842 at 54 Union Street, Aberdeen.

Lauchlan McKinnon, Junior, practised from premises at 239 Union Street (on the corner of Union Street/Huntly Street) in the 1870s and in 1878 the business moved to 23 Market Street, Aberdeen.


Some of our clients will have memories of our offices in Market Street which were located above the Bank of Scotland and where the caretakers had their flat in the attic.  The basement had an incredible vault which tunnelled way below Market Street and which held all the firm’s records and closed files for many years until the firm eventually moved to the West End in the 1980s.

Located just five minutes away from the Sheriff Court, the docks and the harbour, the firm of L McKinnon & Son was geographically ideally placed in those days to service the needs of many of our marine and institutional clients. 

There were few “mod cons” in Market Street – initially only quill pens and certainly no telephones or computers.  Typewriters, duplicating machines and shorthand typists were gradually “introduced” and when a basic IT system was finally installed in the 1970s the firm was “revolutionised”

Market Street Last Day

In late June 1986 L McKinnon & Son became “Mackinnons”.  Gordon Mackinnon, our late Senior Partner and last remaining member of the Mackinnon family, retired and the firm relocated to the West End of Aberdeen to premises at 21 Albert Street.


These offices were able to offer the ever important client car parking and allowed the firm the required room to grow and further develop the practice into other areas of the law

Such was the rate of growth and recognising the need to further diversify and expand, in 1997 the firm acquired the former TSB Bank at 379 North Deeside Road in Cults.

Cults Office


Extensive renovation works were carried out and the rapid expansion and development of our Private Client business began.  Within ten years of acquiring the Cults buildings the premises were further expanded and today in our 175th year our Cults personnel enjoy the benefits of lovely modern office space with welcoming reception areas and a superb window frontage.

DSCF5213 edit

In 2005 having outgrown again our offices at 18B and 21 Albert Street, our core business moved to our current building at 14 Carden Place.  Located at the very heart of the West End our lovely modern office, encased within a traditional granite building, is now the firm’s HQ and the base for our shipping, commercial, Court and employment sections of the firm.

Carden Place

All of our staff very much enjoy working in this beautiful old building which truly reflects the firm’s ethos – traditional values and appearance, yet modern and forward thinking in approach.

Carden Panorama1

To better service the legal needs of our clients to the west of the city – both Private and Business – in 2010 the firm decided to open up another legal branch office this time in Aboyne, some 30 miles from Aberdeen.  Our Deeside offices are much admired and provide a central base for local people to access quality legal advice.

Aboyne external

Our elderly clients, in particular, who find it difficult to travel into the City Centre have very much benefited from our “local” presence on Deeside and year upon year since opening in Aboyne our business has grown beyond expectation.

In 2017 as we celebrate our 175th year in business those of us still “old enough” to remember the “Market Street days” often reflect on our roots and our development over the years.  Many of our clients and their families have instructed us through generations and our standing, particularly throughout the North East of Scotland is, we believe, second to none.

Although now one of Aberdeen’s oldest and most established firms we are regarded as one of the most progressive.  We are intensely proud of our continued independence and believe now, more than ever before, that the emphasis we place on creating and retaining long term relationships, delivering effective solutions and providing a high quality specialist advice is crucial to our success and our continued development in the years to come.


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