A legal business consultancy that snapped up a host of law brands in the past two years has itself gone into liquidation, the Gazette can reveal.
Assure Law Limited commenced the liquidation process last week and creditors are now being contacted with information about the company’s financial status.
Assure Law emerged on the legal services market in March 2014 when it completed a deal with north-west practice Linder Myers Solicitors which saw the firm refinance its debts. Assure chairman Tony Stockdale was appointed chief executive.
Stockdale revealed at the time that a separate company, Assure Law Finance, had ploughed a seven-figure sum to help restructure Linder Myers' debts. Assure Law Finance is now listed on Companies House as a dormant company.
Since March 2014, subsidiaries linked to Assure Law have acquired a host of legal brands which have subsequently either closed or entered administration.
Lawyers2you, the shopping centre-based brand previously owned by former Birmingham firm Blakemores, was relaunched in September 2014.
In July this year, the company went into liquidation with assets of just £5,500.
According to documents filed with Companies House, Assure Law Developments Limited (which trades as Lawyers2you) owes more than £100,000 to various creditors.
The list of creditors includes Assure Law Limited (owed £40,000) and Perception Consultants Ltd (owed £45,000). Perception has two named directors: Stockdale and his business associate David Bentley.
Stockdale and Bentley are also directors at Ellesmere Port-based Simply Rehab Limited, acquired by Assure in February 2015. This company appointed administrators in August this year.
The firm handling that administration, West Midlands practice Irwin & Company, is also handling the liquidation of Assure Law Limited.
A spokeswoman for Irwin confirmed that contact has been made with Assure creditors, but would not reveal how much the company owes.
However, the Gazette understands at least three individuals have outstanding claims against Assure of between £50,000 and £70,000.
There are also doubts over the future of the HighStreetLawyer network of small firms, bought by Assure in December 2014.
Companies House records show founder Gary Yantin left as a director in December 2015 and the business is now effectively dormant: in August this year it was given two months’ notice that it would be struck off the register of companies and dissolved, although that striking-off action has since been suspended after an objection was received.
Stockdale and Bentley are both listed as directors of the Metamorph Group, a solicitor-led business which acquired Linder Myers earlier this year.
Metamorph chief executive Simon Goldhill, who has pledged more acquisitions, told the Gazette it is not involved with Assure Law Limited and the company’s liquidation has no effect on its business.
The Gazette attempted to contact Assure Law, but emails to its marketing manager bounced back and calls to its Birmingham, London and Manchester offices were either not answered or failed to connect.