Scotland business

Shepherd and Wedderburn buys Tods Murray out of administration

About 50 jobs are to go at Scottish law firm Tods Murray as it is bought out of administration by Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Administrators were appointed for Tods Murray, which has offices in Glasgow and Edinburgh, on Friday.

The deal, for an undisclosed sum, will see the immediate transfer of all 170 staff to Shepherd and Wedderburn.

Shepherd and Wedderburn has offices in Edinburgh, Glasgow, London and Aberdeen and last year had a turnover of £38m.

Tods Murray was founded in 1856.

'Significant benefits'

Of the staff joining Shepherd and Wedderburn, 18 will be as partners, five directors, and seven will be consultants.

Employees were informed of the situation on Friday, with a formal 45 day redundancy consultation process due to begin next week.

The initial proposal is for about 50 jobs to be subject to redundancy consultation. FRP Advisory have been handling the administration.

Stephen Gibb, chief executive of Shepherd and Wedderburn said: "We will be welcoming many new colleagues into our team, as part of Shepherd and Wedderburn.

"Their clients can be assured of a continuation of the high level of service they have come to expect, as well as the opportunity to access the expanded range of legal expertise and advice we offer.

"Whilst inevitably there will be a need to rationalise, I am confident that the arrangement will provide significant benefits to our staff and client base."

After the acquisition, the firm will have 564 staff, including 82 partners.

For the year ending April 2014, turnover at Shepherd and Wedderburn increased from £35.9m to £38.3m and net profit rose by 10% to £14.3m.

The Law Society of Scotland said Tods Murray going into administration represented "the loss of a long established and very highly regarded Scottish law firm".

Chief executive Lorna Jack added: "We are confident however that arrangements are being put in place to ensure that there is as little disruption as possible to the firm's clients as there is to be a full transfer of business to Shepherd and Wedderburn, one of Scotland's largest law firms.

"While all Tods Murray staff will also transfer to Shepherd and Wedderburn, we are very aware that this will be a difficult and uncertain time for everyone affected by today's announcement.

"We already have a range of support services available to solicitors for these kinds of situations and we will be offering our help and support to those who need it."

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