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.

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.

Topics