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Scottish law firm in administration 1 September 2015

A total of 42 jobs have been lost at one of Scotland’s oldest law firms, while 80 have been saved, after the business entered administration.

McClure Naismith, which was founded in 1826 in Glasgow, entered administration on August 28. Thomas Campbell MacLennan and Alexander Iain Fraser of insolvency specialist FRP Advisory are acting as joint administrators.

The administrators have managed to save 80 staff by agreeing deals with several law firms for the sale of work in progress to those companies, along with the transfer of relevant employees.

The movement of partners and staff are as follows:

  • Five partners to Harper MacLeod;
  • Five partners to MacLay Murray & Spens;
  • Three partners to Burness Paull;
  • One partner to Morton Fraser;
  • One partner to HBJ Gateley.

Some 40 staff have been offered employment by these firms and other companies with whom the joint administrators are in discussions.

Another seven partners are in advanced talks with additional firms regarding transfers for them and their staff. Four current and future trainees have also been offered contracts.

The joint administrators are retaining 14 staff and further developments are expected about their destinations.

A statement from FRP Advisory said: “It is with great regret that the remaining 42 partners and staff have been made redundant, for whom the joint administrators at FRP Advisory will provide as much support as possible.”

Tom MacLennan, joint administrator and partner with FRP Advisory, said: “We are pleased to have negotiated agreements facilitating employment with a wide range of firms and wish them and their new staff every success.

“We would also like to extend our appreciation to the Law Society of Scotland and the Solicitors Regulation Authority for their support.”

Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “McClure Naismith is one of Scotland’s oldest firms and has been a proud part of the Scottish legal profession for almost 200 years.

“We are sorry to see it go into administration but understand this was the only viable option given the challenges faced by the business.

“It is good to see so many of the firm’s staff and trainees being placed into other Scottish and UK firms. However, there are many others who worked hard within McClure Naismith and who now face an extremely difficult and uncertain period.

“We have a package of support and dedicated staff available to solicitors who are affected by the announcement and we will be offering that help to anyone who needs it.”

She added that the legal profession is undergoing phenomenal change in digitalisation and technology, with expectations from clients and new entrants all requiring firms to adapt and innovate.

By Marcel LeGouais



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