This week's Scottish round-up makes for grim reading.

RollOnFriday can reveal that Maclay Murray & Spens has launched a redundancy consultation in its Private Client department. A spokesman said that four support staff and two lawyers were at risk, and "we are very aware of the personal impact of this process on the individuals affected and will be working with them to provide appropriate support and assistance in the coming weeks". Despite denials by the firm, insiders are worried that this may spread to other departments, which might not be surprising given the firm's dreadful track record in retaining its staff.

Meanwhile, the many woes of Dundas & Wilson were increased by the departure of two leading partners: Peter Willis is off to Bird & Bird, and John Verrill is joining Chadbourne & Parke. The news follows the resignation of the firm's Managing Partner, 28 redundancies and a failed merger with Bircham Dyson Bell. Caryn Penley, the firm's Interim Managing Partner, issued a polite statement wishing them well and, in a strange development for the firm, didn't threaten to shoot them.

    A Scotswoman facing the chop yesterday

Meanwhile Ross Harper, one of Scotland's best known firms, has gone under. It apparently owes money left, right and centre and its collapse has been splashed all over the press.

But there was at least some good news from the Law Society of Scotland which announced that trainees must be paid the minimum wage of £6.08 an hour (ie a bit more than £12,500 a year). Firms have long been encouraged to pay £15,965 and £19,107 for first and second year trainees respectively. But those are just recommendations, and many trainees have been working entirely unpaid. Of course cynics are suggesting that firms will simply take on fewer trainees.
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Anonymous 06 May 12 20:54

As an insider I can say that firm morale is at an all time low. The management promised to be more visible and 'walk the floors' but we never see them. HR are also powerless and generally invisible unless they are making you redundant. Partners don't support junior staff and for the most part hardly engage with them. As soon as the market picks up I'm out.

Anonymous 06 May 12 20:55

And that last comment relates to Maclays.

Anonymous 07 May 12 12:05

It could easily also relate to Dundas...

Anonymous 11 May 12 16:39

Staff have already been ousted by the back door without cost to firm.