Bargain hunting, Scottish style

The Scots have a reputation for being keen on a bargain, and the speed with which firms have cherry-picked teams of lawyers from the wreckage of Semple Fraser has done nothing to dispel that particular stereotype.

Dundas & Wilson is the latest to seal the hire of a team of lawyers from the collapsed firm, with 12 fee-earners set to join the firm in Edinburgh. The news follows similar moves from Maclay Murray & Spens and Weightmans, which took lawyers and staff from Semple Fraser’s Glasgow and Manchester offices. Anderson Strathern also picked up a team of banking lawyers from the firm.

Six of the lawyers joining Dundas were partners at Semple Fraser, but only one – real estate head Elspeth Carson – will be a parter at Dundas, with the rest joining as consultants. The other six will join Dundas as a mixture of assistants, associates and senior associates. Meanwhile, the firm is also looking to take on five of Semple Fraser’s trainees, to give them the opportunity to complete their contracts.

Of course, there is still the matter of the 62 Semple Fraser staff that have not found new homes. You can’t really expect acquirer firms to take on more than they need in these circumstance, particularly not in the present economy. Nor can you expect lawyers to turn down opportunities to find themselves new jobs. Still, it doesn’t look good.

Maybe there’s a white knight out there for those without a practising certificate.


Also on

  • Herbert Smith Freehills has got all its ducks in a row and is set to finally launch an office in South Korea
  • Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance and Linklaters have all won spots on German pharmaceutical giant Bayer’s panel
  • More bad news for Incasso, the former debt recovery business of collapsed firm Cobbetts, as Co-operative Bank becomes the latest client to take its business elsewhere
  • And, former Dundas & Wilson managing partner candidate Colin Massie has become the latest partner to leave the firm