62 staff at Semple Fraser lose their jobs
15 March 2013
62 members of staff at Semple Fraser have lost their jobs. But in a miraculous development, every single one of the firm's partners has immediately managed to find gainful employment elsewhere.
Staff had gone into work last week thinking that everything was peachy: four weeks previously a spokesman had told RollOnFriday
that the firm was "trading well
" with "some good wins
". But they clearly weren't good enough, because an email went round on Wednesday saying that the firm was going into administration.
Two days later the firm had shut. A press release said that "with the exception of 7 staff to be retained by the joint administrators to assist with the affairs of the business, all remaining 62 staff in Glasgow and Edinburgh have been made redundant
". But somehow, by the end of last week, all of the firm's partners had new jobs: one had set up a construction practice for Weightmans, six had moved to Dundas, seven to Maclay Murray & Spens and three to other practices.
Given it can normally take months to be interviewed by another firm, go through
conflict checks, salary negotiations and partnership votes, just how long had the partners already known that Semple Fraser was buggered beyond
redemption? Unkind observers have suggested that the partners may have been rather more focussed on their own futures than on protecting their current firm and its staff in their hour of need.
And what of those staff? Well Dundas & Wilson has made offers
to six of the redundant fee earners. For the rest, the future currently looks uncertain.
The administrator wouldn't comment on the speed of the partners' moves and Simon Etchells, Semple Fraser's former Managing Partner (now safely ensconced at Maclay Murray & Spens) didn't respond to RollOnFriday.
Lorna Jack, Chief Exec of the Law Society of Scotland, also refused to comment on the conduct of the partners and said in a statement that "a principle (sic) concern for the Society in such a situation is that a firm's client money and business is assured. We understand it has been in this case