Law firm McClure Naismith, which is more than seven months late in filing its annual accounts, has refused to comment on speculation it is poised to appoint administrators in the hope of securing a “pre-pack” rescue deal.
The Glasgow-based practice is facing possible fines and criminal proceedings because its accounts are overdue, and has said it was looking at the possibility of merging with a rival.
A report claimed yesterday that McClure Naismith, founded in 1826, would appoint administrators at the end of next week as a number of other firms line up to take on individual teams.
One of the rivals linked to the talks, Harper Macleod, declined to comment on claims that it was set to take on five partners from the practice.
McClure Naismith said it was carrying out a strategic review of the business and was assessing “all options”, including a possible tie-up with another firm.
In a statement, executive chairman Robin Shannan said: “We have been reviewing the way forward for the business for some time now, and have previously stated that we will consider all options, including merger.
“The legal market is consolidating with the emergence of large, UK-wide multi-disciplinary firms and smaller, specialist practices. We have very good lawyers and support staff providing excellent services to a wide range of clients but we are finding that medium-sized, independent firms such as ours lack the scale needed to compete.”
Shannan, who and heads up McClure Naismith’s commercial and financial services unit and is based at its London office, added: “Accordingly, we have been working on developing the most effective strategy for the business, our clients and staff. The review remains a work in progress, and in the meantime it is very much business as usual.”
The firm was due to submit its accounts to Companies House in January and has said it was working with auditor Deloitte to resolve “technical issues”.
In October last year, Tods Murray was bought out of administration by rival Shepherd & Wedderburn.