Updated: 20th August 2015
McClure Naismith, a Scottish law firm founded in 1826 and with offices in Glasgow, Edinburgh and London, is preparing to enter administration after struggling to retain a viable financial position over the past several years.
The firm’s executive chairman Robin Shannan has said that bosses are “undertaking a strategic review of the business”, with reports emerging that a deal might be done to see the operation acquired through a pre-pack administration process.
“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,” Shannan said in a statement.
He went on to say that his firm has suffered as a result of consolidation in the legal profession throughout the UK, which he says has left larger operators able to offer a much broader range of services than firms such as McClure Naismith.
“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,” he said.
McClure Naismith’s accounts for the year to April 2014 are listed as being “overdue” by Companies House and the firm is reported to have been struggling to service high levels of debt for a number of years. Its annual turnover levels declined from over £15 million in 2008 down to £10 million this year.
Rival legal service providers are understood to be in the process of picking out top performing lawyers from the Scottish firm with a view to offering them alternative employment.
Despite insisting that McClure Naismith is to operate as normal while a strategy for its future is pursued, the firm’s executive chairman conceded in recent days that it is looking for buyers and reports suggest that it will enter administration before the end of August.
Shannon told the Sunday Herald that his firm has “not been enjoying the easiest of times”.
“We are still trading and working towards a merger possibility which we are keen to get done in the best interests of clients,” he told the Scottish newspaper. With 100 offices stretching from Inverness down to Exeter, Real Business Rescue can offer unparalleled director advice across the UK.