Slater and Gordon plans 51 job cuts

Topics: Alternative business structures

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (36)
  • Save

Related images

  • Fentonsoffice failsworth

Listed Australian firm Slater and Gordon is consulting with 51 staff in two different offices with a view to possible redundancies, the Gazette can reveal.

Talks began yesterday with 14 staff in Derby and 37 staff in Failsworth, Manchester, about the potential closure of both sites.

Advertisement

Both sites were taken on through acquisitions in recent years: the claimant personal injury practice of Flint Bishop in Derby and the Failsworth office of Fentons (pictured).

The redundancy consultation will involve fee-earners and support staff in both offices. Both offices deal only in personal injury work.

Slater and Gordon grew rapidly after arriving in the UK in 2012 with several mergers making it one of the biggest providers of consumer legal services.

But the combination of imminent personal injury reform, revised profit estimates and an investigation by regulators in Australia have seen the share value drop by more than 80% in the last year.

It is understood that managing director Andrew Grech is in the UK visiting various offices this week to review the future direction of the business.

In a statement, a spokesperson for the firm said: ‘As part of a review of our property portfolio Slater and Gordon has begun assessing the feasibility of closing two of our offices, Failsworth and Derby.

‘During this process we will work closely with all staff who will be impacted if a decision is made not to renew our lease on the site.

‘All staff affected have been made aware there is the possibility of redundancy. Understandably, this can be unsettling for staff, but we will, where possible, help individuals find other opportunities within the Slater and Gordon Group.

‘As always, our commitment is to ensure that our clients are not impacted during this process and we will ensure that they continue to receive the world class legal services they would expect from us.’

When Slater and Gordon announced the acquisition of Fentons in August 2013 it described the move as ‘part of a continued growth strategy’.

Fentons was reported at the time to employ around 280 staff.

Clarification: An earlier version of this article contained a reference to the Derby office of Flint Bishop. We are happy to clarify that Slater and Gordon acquired Flint Bishop’s claimant personal injury practice only and that Flint Bishop is independently owned, continues to trade as an independent entity and is not in any way connected with Slater and Gordon or its planned redundancies or office closures.

Readers' comments (36)

  • It is such a shame that these massive machines have been allowed to sweep in, take over all these business and then thereafter have to systematically close them. Doubtless thousands of jobs will go across the industry in 2016 due to Gideon's efforts on reform of the small claims limit. Even so, I find it incredulous that no one has been monitoring these firms, their accounts and their business model to ensure stability and a plan for moving forward. They are like Hurricane Eric - sweeping in and taking everything out with it in its wake - just leaving piles of rubble in its midst.

    I hope that the 51 staff involved get through this turbulent time. It must feel very stressful and unsure for them. I would like to think that they will find gainful employment elsewhere in this industry but the way it is going, I am sorry to say, that I think that this is unlikely.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just the start I suspect

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And so it begins.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just to correct the rather misleading quote, there is no lease on what was the Failsworth branch of Fentons. Smash & Grab own the freehold.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I hope for the sake of all those over at Moseley Street and alike that if the ship does sink another firm is capable of taking the staff on.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A sad day for the staff whose jobs are at risk.
    As I said before, the pile it high sell it cheap merchants, pursuing fools gold at the end of the legal rainbow, may well ultimately fail due to their flawed business model, but before doing so they ruin many a sound business unable to compete with their unsound business methods, and when they fail they ruin the careers of many of their employees.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Just think if this was a one man band who had accidentally paid £1.50 into Office from Client. The SRA would be all over him. Its pathetic..a bit like all the fund managers and ratings agencies who missed the financial crash coming...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It appears that this has been on the cards for a while and as commented above, I suspect the prevailing wind in 2016 will result in many similar stories for PI heavy firms in the coming year.

    I'd be very surprised if others in the PI industry aren't already dusting off their CV, as these big firms are all likely to be affected in the same way. Even the likes of Leigh Day seem to be on the ropes in one form or another too - tough times ahead for many, which is very sad.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • No shocks here just feel for the staff.

    'It is understood that managing director Andrew Grech is in the UK visiting various offices this week to review the future direction of the business.'

    More breaking news.......?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well it isn't a surprise is it, cash flow is getting tough, the market capitalisation looks shocking, once worth over $2b is now down to $4m, and they are massively in debt, one word 'insolvent' if the banks come a calling we might start to see some de-merger effort, or it's just going to go pop.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10per page20per page50per page

Have your say

You must sign in to make a comment

  • Print
  • Share
  • Comments (36)
  • Save