Staff from a Ballarat legal firm which will close next month have been thrown a lifeline by another local business.
Three solicitors from Harwood Andrews' Ballarat office and a number of staff will now be employed by Baird and McGregor, just after the legal firm's closure on October 31.
Harwood Andrews' principal solicitor in the city has confirmed that documents, such as wills, will remain in Ballarat.
It follows The Courier's article on Friday that nine staff from Harwood Andrews would be made redundant. In July 2013, Harwood Andrews absorbed Cuthberts Barristers and Solicitors, which was in continuous business for 158 years before the merger.
Harwood Andrews Ballarat's principal lawyer Andrew Robson told The Courier that "as we see it, basically Cuthberts is still really there, well and truly", with the two legal firms sharing the same ethos.
"I think our focus is on client satisfaction. Simply using modern technology does not mean you can't be friendly and supportive of clients," he said.
He noted that while there was only an informal agreement between the former Harwood Andrews Ballarat principals and Harwood Andrews, documents belonging from clients would remain in Ballarat.
"The deeds are not going to be floating around somewhere, going to Melbourne or Geelong, they'll remain in Ballarat," he said.
"It's important us clients call to discuss their options."
Baird and McGregor's director Andrew Baird said solicitors Mr Robson, Don Robinson, Kathleen Neale were making the move, as well as the "majority" of the staff from Harwood Andrews' Ballarat office.
"It will be a strong new alliance and clients of both firms can be confident they will continue to enjoy professional legal advice and representation", Mr Baird said.
"Between them Andrew and Don bring more than 60 years experience in the law and specialist skills in wills and estates, and property law, which adds to the suite of expertise Baird and McGregor will offer to existing and new clients".
The arrangement will come into effect from November 1, with staff moving to Baird and McGregor's 9 Lydiard Street North premises.
On Friday, Harwood Andrews' CEO Andrew Barnes told The Courier said staff were notified at the end of August, and the practice in Ballarat had retained "traditional working processes" after transferring from Cuthberts and would have needed to have major investments in technology to make it align with the rest of the company.
"There would have been more pain involved in trying to change it against their will ... to fit into a model that was not suited to them," he said.