62 jobs lost as law firm Semple Fraser collapses

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SEMPLE Fraser, the Scottish law firm, was placed in administration yesterday putting 62 staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh out of work.

Tom MacLennan and Kenny Craig, partners in RSM Tenon, have been appointed joint administrators of Semple Fraser LLP and Semple Fraser Services.

They announced that the Manchester operations had been sold to Weightmans, saving 14 jobs, including two partners. A new Scottish construction practice will be created for Weightmans in Glasgow, following its hiring of one partner and two staff members from Semple Fraser.

Maclay Murray & Spens has hired seven partners in Glasgow and Edinburgh while Dundas & Wilson has taken on six partners in Edinburgh. Three partners have joined other practices in Edinburgh. All 12 Semple Fraser legal trainees will be allowed to complete their traineeships.

The joint administrators have retained seven staff to help with the affairs of the business, but the remaining 25 lawyers and 37 administrative staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh have been made redundant.

It is understood that some of the firms who have taken on staff are assessing whether to recruit more of those losing their jobs.

“It is therefore hoped that there will be new employment opportunities for many of the Semple Fraser staff as a result,” said the administrators in a statement.

MacLennan, head of restructuring for RSM Tenon in Scotland, added: “The events of the last few weeks have been very demanding for the partners and staff of Semple Fraser and I would like to express our appreciation for their commitment and professionalism in addressing the difficulties as we worked to achieve the best outcome for clients and staff in very difficult circumstances.

“I would also pay particular appreciation to various legal practices that have stepped in to ensure all legal trainees would be able to complete their training.”