Maclays snaps up team from collapsed Semple Fraser

Scottish firm Maclay Murray & Spens is hiring seven partners from Semple Fraser, which filed notice to appoint administrators earlier this week.

Semple Fraser sent an email to staff informing them that the firm was going to enter administration earlier this week (6 March 2013). The firm has since nominated RSM Tenon as its administrator (8 March 2013).

The team of seven partners will join Maclays on 11 March. All but one of the new partners hail from the firm’s Glasgow office. The other is based in Edinburgh.

The group comprises six real estate specialists, including Semple Fraser’s managing partner Simon Etchells, and one corporate and renewable energy partner. None of Semple Fraser’s associates or support staff will move to Maclays.

In a statement, Maclays’ chief executive Chris Smylie said: “We’ve been able to move very quickly to hire such an exceptional group of partners. Although we have been aware of the difficulties being experienced by Semple Fraser, we also recognised the very high quality of the individuals and clients involved.

“We are delighted to welcome these outstanding lawyers to MMS and expect to announce further senior lateral hires very soon. This move is a clear example of how our quality-focused strategy, coupled with clear strategic direction and prudent and decisive management, is taking the firm forward.”

The move is in line with earlier reports by The Lawyer (5 March 2013), where Weightmans and Dundas & Wilson were also reported to have been interested in acquiring lawyers from Semple Fraser’s Manchester and Edinburgh offices, respectively.

The departing Semple Fraser team in full:

Joanna Campbell-Smith
Simon Etchells
Bill Fowler
Paul Haniford
Colin Keenan
Barry McKeown
Anju Suneja