Scotland’s oldest law firm goes into administration

ONE of Scotland’s oldest law firms has gone into administration with the loss of 70 jobs.

Pagan Osborne Limited employed 123 people but some 50 jobs will be saved when Dundee-based law firm Thorntons takes over the firm’s work and assets. It will also keep open Pagan Osborne’s office in Anstruther, which will be rebranded Thorntons.

The 70 redundancies will affect all the offices with a 45-day redundancy consultation period starting this week.

Tom MacLennan, partner at FRP Advisory and joint administrator, said: “We are delighted that Thorntons has acquired the assets, goodwill and work-in-progress of Pagan Osborne, thus ensuring continuity of client service, providing employment opportunities and safeguarding client funds.

“We wish the newly enlarged business every success.”

Lorna Jack, chief executive of the Law Society of Scotland, said: “It represents the loss of a long-established and highly regarded Scottish law firm operating across Fife and Edinburgh.”

“We understand most of Pagan Osborne’s staff, including all trainee solicitors, will transfer to Thorntons but there are to be redundancies following a consultation period, making this a difficult and uncertain time for everyone affected by this announcement.”

She added: “There has been ongoing, significant change within the legal services sector which, combined with a challenging economic environment, continues to have an impact on law firms.”

Craig Nicol, joint managing partner of Thorntons, said: “Our priority will be to provide a seamless transition for clients and to preserve the maximum number of jobs.”

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