Arthur H Muir, a native of Edinburgh and a member of the Edinburgh Society of Accountants, commenced practice on 1 October 1899 as Arthur H Muir Chartered Accountant in offices at 2 Wellington Place, which now form part of the Scottish Provident Buildings, Donegall Square West, Belfast.

The initial capital of the practice was £150, which was in the form of a loan to Arthur H Muir from his mother Mrs Muir of Barnet, Hertfordshire; she was paid interest at 4% per annum.

His first accounts to 30 April 1900 show total fee income of £78.3s.9d.

The first fee to our oldest existing client Messrs Cleaver Fulton, Solicitors, now Messrs Cleaver Fulton Rankin, Solicitors, was rendered on 31 August 1900 for the sum of £3.3s.0d.

An example of charging out rates at that time is indicated by a letter of 31 August 1900 to Mr Charles Lepper of Shaftesbury Square, Belfast indicating a fee of £5.18s.9d. The fee represented 95 hours at 10s per eight hours for time incurred on the checking of the Willowpark Creamery accounts to 30 June 1900.


Outside the practice, Arthur H Muir was largely responsible for the formation of the Belfast Society of Chartered Accountants (now the Ulster Society) of which he was Honorary Secretary from 1907 to 1914 inclusive and Chairman in 1915, 1916 and 1919. He served as a Captain with the Royal Inniskilling Fusiliers - Ulster Division in the First World War, having seen active service in France. Practice records show that his Army pay and expense allowance was paid into the practice bank account. He was a member of the Council of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland from 1916 to 1940, becoming President in 1927/28 and 1928/29. He represented the Institute at two International congresses, one in New York in 1929 and the other in London in 1933. The Muir Memorial prize in honour of Mr Muir is still awarded to the first placed candidate in the Professional Two Examinations for Chartered Accountants in Ireland.

On 1 June 1912 Arthur Muir announced "I have assumed Mr Herbert E A Addy of Belfast as partner". The firm then became known as A H Muir & Addy, later to become Muir & Addy. Herbert Addy whose reputation as a punster was even then well known, must have been tempted to say that this was quite an assumption on the part of Arthur Muir.

Herbert Addy was admitted to membership of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland in 1909 serving as a Member of Council of the Institute from 1940 to 1961, becoming President for the years 1951/52 and 1952/53. He was appointed a member of the Company Law Reform Committee of the Republic of Ireland in 1951.


James Pinkerton, who spent his whole career of forty years with the firm, was appointed as a partner after being admitted to the Institute on 12 February 1932.

A Dublin office was opened in the 1920s and remained open until just prior to the Second World War.

Arthur N Lovesy commenced his articles on 19 November 1931, the day on which the United Kingdom came off the Gold Standard. Arthur Lovesy was admitted to partnership in 1945, retiring in 1982.

Following the merger between the Society of Incorporated Accountants in Ireland and the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Ireland, William Brown and Joseph Dornan, who had been senior members of staff, became partners in March 1958. They were joined by Stanley Little, the son-in-law of the late James Pinkerton. Joseph Dornan, affectionately known to all past and present members of staff as Josie, joined the firm on 1 October 1918 and served for 70 years until his death in 1988, surely a record for any accountancy practice in the British Isles.

David Lovesy was admitted to partnership on 1 May 1974 the year that the firm celebrated its 75th Anniversary.

The 1970s and 1980s saw many changes, some brought about by the untimely deaths of Stanley Little and Jim Campbell. Jim was admitted to partnership in 1982 and retired in the same year due to illness. Despite this difficult time the firm acquired various accountancy practices during this period. The Firm also bought the Muir Building on the Holywood Road and relocated from Donegall Square West in 1989.

David McClure and Leslie McKeown were both partners for a short period of time during the 1980s before leaving to pursue other careers.

Arthur Muir
Herbert Addy
James Pinkerton
Arthur Lovesy
William Brown
Joseph Dornan
Stanley Little
Jim Campbell
David Lovesy
Norman Cummings

Colin Wilson, Geoffrey Weir, Paul Leathem and John Beacom are the current partners of the firm.

The strength of a firm lies in the loyalty and commitment of its staff. In this respect Muir & Addy has benefited from the professionalism of current and former staff by being able to provide a consistently high quality of service to all its clients. Many of our former members of staff have attained high positions within their given profession, at home and abroad.

There are many members of staff who deserve an individual mention, the following have been chosen because of their length of service. Margaret Thomas who joined in 1901 as a secretary/typist retired in the 1960s. Sally McMullan who joined in 1923 as a secretary/typist retired in the 1960s. Doreen Sandford joined in 1956 as a secretary/typist and retired in 1991. Alan Addy joined in 1943 as an audit clerk and retired in 1983. Norman Dodds joined in 1953 as an audit clerk and retired in 1997.

Muir & Addy, over the period of one hundred and eleven years, has provided a high quality of professional service to its clients and has established a strong sense of client loyalty through several generations.

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Muir Building,
427 Holywood Road,
Belfast, BT4 2LT.
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