Dundas seals hire of 12-strong Semple Fraser team

Dundas & Wilson has confirmed the hire of 12 lawyers from collapsed Scottish rival Semple Fraser in a move that sees five former Semple Fraser partners join as consultants.

Semple Fraser partner and real estate head Elspeth Carson becomes a partner at Dundas, while fellow property partners Ewan Thomson, Angus MacRae, Margaret McLean, litigation head Kenneth Carruthers and dispute partner Alison Gow will be full-time consultants.

Dundas also made offers to recruit six former Semple Fraser fee-earners at assistant, associate and senior associate level and is making arrangements to ensure that five Semple Fraser trainees will be able to complete their training contracts at Dundas.

All the lawyers will join the Edinburgh base, although it is expected Thomson will split his time between Scotland and London at a later stage.

Carson said in a statement: “Dundas is Scotland’s leading firm. We share a united belief that client service is paramount and we’ll be looking forward to working together in the coming months to provide the best service and value to all our clients.”

The hires follow news that Semple Fraser has appointed a RSM Tenon team as administrators, with teams later leaving to join Anderson Strathern, Maclay Murray & Spens and Weightmans while 62 staff were made redundant.

The Lawyer reported earlier this week that Dundas had bought Semple Fraser’s work-in-progress and was set to bring aboard six partners from its Edinburgh office (11 March 2013).

Dundas joint managing partners Caryn Penley and Allan Wernham said in a statement: “We’re committed to growing our business in Scotland and London. The quality and reputation of the former Semple Fraser partners joining us reinforces our position as Scotland’s pre-eminent law firm and will present many exciting opportunities over the next months.”

Dundas real estate head Iain Lindsay said: “Adding Elspeth, Ewan, Angus and Margaret will further cement our position in Scotland as one of the biggest and best real estate teams. Across the UK we look forward to working with our new colleagues to further support our strong London real estate team’s growth in the English market.”

RSM Tenon partner and joint administrator Tom MacLennan said in a statement: “We’d like to thank Dundas & Wilson for moving so quickly to help find positive destinations for some of the former Semple Fraser partners, lawyers and trainees. We wish Dundas & Wilson and their new colleagues every success for the future.”