Established legal firm enters administration

A long-established firm of solicitors with a 90-strong team has gone into administration.

Central belt legal firm Morisons LLP, which has a history dating back to the 1860s, entered administration on Friday.

The business, with 16 partners and 74 employees in Edinburgh and Glasgow, had expanded in recent years through acquisitions and natural growth.

Administrators FRP Advisory LLP are hopeful around 45 staff positions can be saved after deals were agreed with other law firms.

There are to be no immediate redundancies, joint administrators Tom MacLennan and Iain Fraser confirmed.

According to FRP Advisory, the deals – for an undisclosed sum – see eight Morisons partners and 41 staff transferring to Thorntons, while three partners and 30 staff are moving to Blackadders.

Thorntons and Blackadders are said to have acquired certain “assets, goodwill and work-in-progress” from Morisons.

A further three partners are moving to Gilson Gray in Edinburgh, Weightmans in Glasgow and one undisclosed firm where negotiations are continuing.

The administrators said Thorntons and Blackadders will begin a redundancy consultation period next week with some former Morisons staff, whilst “simultaneously undertaking a review of their staff structures and requirements”.

Mr MacLennan, a partner at FRP Advisory, said: “We are pleased that Thorntons and Blackadders have agreed deals to acquire certain assets, goodwill and work-in-progress of Morisons, thus ensuring continuity of client service, preserving employment and safeguarding client service. 2

“We wish the newly enlarged businesses every success.”

Morisons provided business, family and personal legal services to a range of clients.

Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “We are very sad to hear that Morisons has gone into administration. It represents the loss of a highly regarded Scottish law firm operating in Glasgow and Edinburgh.

“We are confident that arrangements are being put in place to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible for the firm’s clients.

“There has been ongoing, significant change within the legal services sector which, combined with a challenging economic environment, continues to have an impact on law firms.”

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