MACLAY Murray & Spens wound up its defined benefit pension scheme in its last full year as a standalone law firm, clearing the way for its October 2017 takeover by global firm Dentons.

According to its accounts for the 2016/17 year, Maclays completed an insurance deal in the previous year “that will provide for all future benefits of the individual members of the scheme”.

The scheme was subsequently wound up at the end of June 2016.

“Accordingly the LLP, upon enacting the settlement, ceased to recognise the underlying pension scheme assets and liabilities that were respectively transferred and extinguished by the settlement,” the accounts said.

Although the scheme had been closed to new accruals from 2006, Maclays had remained responsible for funding its future liabilities and contributed £85,000 to it in 2014/15.

It is thought that offloading the scheme was a key step in helping the firm secure its deal with Dentons, with few merger partners keen to take on such liabilities.

Turnover at Maclays was down by one per cent to £44.2 million during the year, representing a drop of 27 per cent from the £60.8m it posted in 2007/08, its best-ever year.

Profits, meanwhile, fell by seven per cent to £12.3m.

Dentons, which markets itself as the world’s largest law firm, has over 150 offices spread across more than 60 countries.

At the time of joining the firm Maclays chief executive Kenneth Shand said the firm, which had offices in Aberdeen, Edinburgh, Glasgow and London, had wanted to be part of something bigger to help it access a wider clientbase.