Grant Thornton



Grant Thornton is the world’s seventh-largest accountant firm in the UK. Currently, it provides services to more than 40,000 privately held businesses, public interest entities, and individuals. It is led by more than 212 partners and employs more than 5,104 people.  The origins of the company date back to 1904, when the UK firm of Thornton and Thornton was formed in Oxford. Through a series of various name changes, this firm merged in 1959 with another UK firm, Baker and Co. 

Eventually, In 1975 Thornton Baker merged with Kidston, Jackson, McBain, a UK firm which traced its origins to the Glaswegian accountant, Robert McCowan, who set up in practice in 1844 and was a founder of the Institute of Accountants and Actuaries in Glasgow in 1853. Meanwhile, in the US, Alexander Richardson Grant founded Alexander Grant and Co in Chicago in 1924. 

When Grant died in 1938, Alexander Grant and Co survived the change in leadership and continued to grow nationally. In 1969, Alexander Grant and Co joined with firms from Australia, Canada, and the United States to establish the organisation of Alexander Grant Tansley Witt. In 1980 Alexander Grant and Co and Thornton Baker, firms with similar qualities, clients, personnel numbers, and values, joined with 49 other firms to form a global organisation, Grant Thornton. In 1986, Alexander Grant & Co and Thornton Baker changed their names to Grant Thornton. Today, the group is headed by David Dunckley. 

Grant Thornton offers a range of services to its clients. Namely, audit and assurance, tax, and restructuring. They also offer other special services which include:

Consulting: Which helps UK and international business with overseas growth and strategy. 

Cyber: Offers advice for businesses on data breaches and other cybercrimes, also helps clients deal with the various changes to cybersecurity and regulation. 

Deals: A service that aims to support business growth strategies through any e lifecycle of any transaction they undertake.

Financial services advisory: Helping clients navigate accounting, regulatory, technology and operating model change. Also helps corporate businesses with mergers and acquisitions,

Insolvency and global asset recovery: Helps clients devise and implement asset recovery solutions – with cases often involving elements of fraud, regulatory breaches or international angles.

Risk: A service which helps companies identify and manage risks, realise opportunities, and improve business performance. 


Grant Thornton has revealed that its operating profit rose 18% from £124m up to £146m for the year ended 31 December 2023.

Alongside this, the company saw its net revenues rise 7% from £610m up to £654m for the period.

The firm reached a total headcount of over 5,500 people in December, a 5% increase on last year with over 1,200 new joiners and 25 new partners. As a result the firm’s average profit per partner rose by 11% up to £644,000.

Grant Thornton invested  £11m in salary increases and allocated 15% of trading profits for discretionary bonuses. 

Recent Coverage

Grant Thornton and Teesside University has announced the launch of a new apprenticeship that builds sustainability business skills. 

Designed for employees in sustainability roles, entrepreneurs interested in growing sustainable businesses and leaders who want to build their understanding of sustainability, the qualification gained is Sustainability Business Specialist MSc (Level 7 apprenticeship).

Co-designed by Grant Thornton and Teesside University, the 18-month programme of learning is rooted in real-world business experience and offers participants the opportunity to develop future-proof skills in sustainability leadership. The first cohort is planned to start in September 2024.

Grant Thornton’s corporate finance team in the East of England has advised Peterborough-based PJ Thory on the acquisition of three quarry sites and Gemmix on the acquisition of five ready-mix concrete sites which is believed to make it the largest independently owned supplier of ready-mix concrete in the UK.

The ready-mix concrete sites are in Cambridgeshire, Northamptonshire and Leicestershire, while the quarries are located in Norfolk and Northamptonshire.

The FRC’s enforcement committee has sanctioned Grant Thornton £40k after it was found that the firm failed to comply with the regulatory framework for auditing in its audit of a local authority’s pension fund for the year to 31 March 2021. 

News follows an inspection by the FRC’s audit quality team, in accordance with the auditor regulatory sanctions procedure. 

According to the committee, it found failures in the reviewed audit, which it considered represented “a significant departure from the standards expected of a registered auditor”. 

Grant Thornton has announced the promotion of Matthew Hicken to audit director in its Thames Valley and Southampton team. 

The sanction has been accepted by Grant Thornton, with the committee also accepting written undertakings proposed by the firm. Meanwhile, the FRC will monitor compliance with the undertakings. 

Grant Thornton has announced the promotion of Matthew Hicken to audit director in its Thames Valley and Southampton team.

In his new role, Hicken will be working across the wider Thames Valley and South region from the firm’s offices in Oxford, Reading and Southampton, with the responsibility of working with private capital and US-focused businesses, helping them to develop and overcome the challenges of international growth, financing and operations.

He will also collaborate with businesses on their financial reporting to help prepare them for their next steps, as well as play a role in developing the teams across Grant Thornton’s Thames Valley and Southampton offices. 

Grant Thornton UK has also announced the appointment of Alex Miller as partner in the firm’s newly formed VAT technology and transformation team. 

He will be responsible for building and leading the team, which is focused on developing different technology and automation offerings to support clients’ end-to-end VAT accounting and compliance.  

This will include everything from partnering with clients on tax transformation projects to delivery of VAT accounting and logic for ERP implementations.

Back to top button