Chiene + Tait was formed in 1885 when George Chiene Jnr appointed James Tait as a partner in his firm.
Since then, we have remained a fixture of the Edinburgh and Scottish accountancy sector, building an outstanding reputation for private client work and, latterly, a corporate service to match.
Though we have increased in size, we remain proud of our independent status: it allows us to provide fast, accurate and personalised services to clients, and a partner-led delivery and relationship. We have grown our business with the same care and planning that we share with clients.
We work with all sorts of people and organisations, from the remotest Highlands to the densest urban jungle. We help start-up businesses, investors, charities, large businesses, property specialists, individuals, families, estates, and SMEs.
We would welcome the chance to talk to you. Please get in touch if you have a query.
George Todd Chiene Snr was born on 21st August 1809 in Fife, the son of Captain John Chiene. Educated in Crail and then at Edinburgh High School, he trained with Messrs Paul & Mackersy. George set up his own practice and had insurance and investment company connections; he maintained an office at 7 George Street and was still in business there when his son, George Todd Jnr, became a chartered accountant. George Snr held the distinguished role of auditor of Alliance Heritable Security Co Ltd and was manager of the Ancient Insurance Association of Scotland Ltd.
George Todd Chiene Jnr was born on 30th October 1844 and was the second son of George Todd Chiene Snr. He had strong Edinburgh links and attended The Edinburgh Academy, followed by the Universities of St Andrews and Edinburgh. He went on to train as an accountant with Lindsay, Jamieson and Haldane, which was the first step into professional services for many notable members of Edinburgh Society.
When George Jnr became a member of the Edinburgh Society, he decided against joining his father’s business and instead set up on his own. As a notable accountant and auditor, George Jnr was the auditor of the National Bank of Scotland and Standard Life Assurance Company. He was also manager of the National Guarantee Association and acted as factor for several estates in Fife. Later he had a partner, John Brewis, but this partnership was dissolved, and later still Chiene took on John Scott Tait as a partner to create Chiene + Tait Chartered Accountants.
As a young man, George Jnr was a first class cricketer and good footballer. He captained Edinburgh Academical Rugby Club and was a keen golfer. George Jnr served for two terms on the Council of the Society and died after a long illness in his ancestral Kingdom of Fife.
One of George Jnr’s brothers was a notable figure in the world of medicine. Professor John Chiene was born at Howard Place, Edinburgh, in 1843. He gained two top mathematical prizes at The Edinburgh Academy and his sporting career included the honour of being the first President of The Scottish Rugby Union.
Among John’s school friends was Robert Louis Stevenson, author of Treasure Island and The Strange Case of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. At the age of 22, after graduating with honours, Prof Chiene began lecturing at a school of operative surgery and went on to become Chair of Surgery in 1882. He served on the staff of the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh for 39 years and was appointed Honorary Surgeon to the British Forces at the outbreak of the Boer War in 1900. After his professional days had come to an end, he followed his love of golf and moved to Davidson Mains, where he became Captain of Bruntsfield Links Golfing Society. The Society match champion holds The Chiene Cup, presented in his memory.
John Scott Tait was born on 12 September 1857 at 48 Chamberland Street, Edinburgh. He came from humble stock: his family were bakers and cabinet makers. He spent much of his younger years in Melrose and Langholm in the Borders. Once he moved to Edinburgh and studied to be a Chartered Accountant, he settled into the office of Mr George Todd Chiene and, after passing his exams, he was assumed as a partner and became senior partner a short while later.
JS Tait was widely regarded for his knowledge of accounting and his commitment to further his education. He specialised in liquidation affairs and became an authority on the Companies Act. Using this expertise he was a director of the Union Bank of Scotland and also served on the Boards of several financial and insurance companies.
His obituary noted his many achievements and the division between John Tait the stern businessman and John Tait the warm-hearted family man. “Under a brusque manner, which sometimes rose to harshness and severity, Mr Tait hid a warm and sympathetic heart. He had no mercy for shiftiness or insecurity, he ‘suffered fools’ with difficulty, but he was a loyal friend and often gave valuable though unostentatious help and advice to his younger professional brethren.”
The obituary goes further to give us an insight into the workings of JS Tait’s life. “While he took too little relaxation from his work, and latterly seemed to abandon exercise altogether, he had the seeing eye of a man born and bred in the country. He could handle a gun and prided himself on his knowledge of wild birds.”
Later in his career, JS Tait purchased the Bavelaw estate, near the Pentland Hills and extended his hospitality not only to his friends and family, but also the children of local families by holding picnics in the grounds of the estate. Indeed, his friends are quoted as saying, “He often said he liked nothing so much as making children happy. His death in the middle of his career is a great loss to Edinburgh professional life, and his memory will be cherished by a large circle of friends.” JS Tait never married and had no children; he died on 5 April 1910 at Drumsheugh Place, Edinburgh of influenza and heart failure.