Administrators have moved in for the second time in 18 months to manage a costs firm with strong links to the personal injury sector.
It has been confirmed that Manchester-based Just Costs Solicitors entered the administration process on Friday, with 26 staff told they were being made redundant.
The firm was created in 2017 through a pre-pack administration deal to acquire the assets of predecessor firm Just Costs Limited. The new venture, led by solicitors Paul Shenton, Jodi Booth and Adam Quinn, rescued 46 jobs and was reported to have cleared away historical financial liabilities attributed to the previous firm.
Companies House records show both Quinn and Booth ceased to be directors of Just Costs Solicitors last month.
Insolvency specialist Leonard Curtis Rescue & Recovery said Julien Irving and Andrew Poxon had been jointly appointed after the firm had experienced difficulties as a result of the regulatory and financial pressures currently being placed on the sector. The firm has also suffered from cashflow issues.
Prior to the appointment of administrators, all client matters were transferred to other registered practices, namely Clear Law Solicitors, Burcher Jennings, Civil & Commercial Costs Lawyers Limited, KWLC Legal Costs Limited, Simpson Sissons & Brooke LLP and Partners in Costs Limited.
Irving added: 'Whilst the number of redundancies was unavoidable, we are pleased to say that we have ensured that approximately 1,000 client matters were seamlessly transferred to regulated practices and therefore avoided SRA intervention.'
A sale notice posted by Leonard Curtis, which sought buyers for a costs firm by 11 January, had attempted to find a buyer for the firm's ongoing business.
The notice stated the for-sale business is based in leasehold offices in the north west and London and practises in costs drafting relating to commercial litigation, clinical negligence and personal injury. The asset then had 33 staff, was working on 1,100 live cases for 210 clients, and had work in progress worth around £850,000.
All interested parties were requested to sign a non-disclosure agreement and specifically deal with the proposed joint administrators Leonard Curtis.
Continuing struggles of the personal injury market have contributed to the latest administration. Just Costs worked with at least one firm that collapsed in 2018. It was one of the named creditors of north west firm Roberts Jackson. The costs firm was owed almost £33,000 and is unlikely to receive any distribution, according to a creditors’ report published in November.