McMillan Williams Solicitors has been bought out of administration in a deal that will create a top 75 U.K. law firm and marks the first of what is expected to be many coronavirus-related collapses.

The Croydon-headquartered firm, which has 32 offices nationwide, entered administration last month, citing pressures of historic debt “exasperated as a direct result of COVID-19”. It has been acquired by Taylor Rose TTKW as part of a pre-pack administration deal, it was announced on Wednesday.

All 420 members of staff will be taken on as part of the acquisition, according to a statement by administrators Quantuma.

Pinsent Masons’ Steven Cottee advised the administrators, while Samantha Palmer provided regulatory advice.

Founded in 1983, McMillan Williams was later co-incorporated in 2013. The firm had a turnover in excess of £30 million for the year ended April 2019.

Quantuma partner and joint administrator, Sean Bucknall said in a statement: “The high fixed cost base and highly leverage model of many law-firms leaves them particularly vulnerable to the fall-out from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“We are already seeing many law firms already in serious financial difficulty and unfortunately this administration will be the first of many.”

In a statement on its website, Taylor Rose CEO Adrian Jaggard said: “Our resulting strength leaves us well placed to benefit as the Legal Services Market starts its journey of recovery from the stresses of the pandemic.”

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