By Ian McConnell

EIGHTY-four jobs have been saved with the purchase of the goodwill, work-in-progress and certain assets of 168-year-old McClure Solicitors, after the Scottish law firm fell into administration amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The acquisition has been made by fast-growing legal practice Jones Whyte. This firm was founded in 2013 by Glasgow-based solicitors Ross Jones and Greg Whyte.

Jones Whyte said yesterday that the transaction sees the existing partners and staff of McClure Solicitors, comprising 84 people, transferring to it with immediate effect. It noted 13 “satellite offices” of McClure Solicitors would close. Jones Whyte added that the offices of McClure Solicitors in Glasgow and Greenock would be “retained in the short term”. The deal was announced following the appointment of Tom MacLennan and Chad Griffin, partners with FRP, as joint administrators of McClure Solicitors.

READ MORE: Ian McConnell: No escape from Johnson’s dire Brexit farce in Paris metro and airport

FRP said: “The pandemic had a significant impact on the operating model, resulting in the firm entering administration in late April 2021.” It added that McClure Solicitors had “expanded in recent years by opening two additional satellite offices in Scotland”, in Edinburgh and Aberdeen, and “11 satellite offices in England”.

Mr MacLennan said: “We are delighted that Jones Whyte has agreed to acquire the assets, goodwill and work-in-progress of McClure Solicitors, thus ensuring continuity of client service, the preservation of employment and the safeguarding of client funds.”

READ MORE: Solicitors join forces to launch Scottish law firm

Founded in 1853 in Greenock, McClure Solicitors specialised in private client work, such as wills, estate and wealth planning, trusts, conveyancing, and inheritance planning.

Mr Jones and Mr Whyte said: “McClure Solicitors was a long standing highly respected firm of solicitors, originally founded in 1853, and this acquisition will further strengthen our position at the forefront of the legal market. We very much welcome our new colleagues to the enlarged business, which now sits at over 170 people, and look forward to working with them to ensure all McClure Solicitors' clients continue to receive excellent service.  We have ambitious plans to grow Jones Whyte, and this deal is a major step in that direction.”

READ MORE: Brexit: Ian McConnell — Exporters must battle populist tide as damage racks up

Jones Whyte noted that its teams were “working between the two Glasgow offices and at home on flexible working practices”.