The new chief executive of rescued Manchester firm Linder Myers has insisted he can turn the business around. Tony Stockdale (pictured), chair of legal business adviser Assure Law, led the takeover of the firm last month, saving it from entering administration.
Stockdale revealed to the Gazette that a separate company, Assure Law Finance, has ploughed a seven-figure sum into Linder Myers to help restructure the firm’s debts.
Stockdale said the firm has always been profitable but suffered from a rapid acquisitions spree which saw five new firms bought in the last three years.
‘This is and was a good business,’ said Stockdale. ‘Clearly it has run into difficulty as it has grown, which brought challenges in terms of integration and creating one business.
‘Some of the teams have joined recently and there is work to be done in building relationships. But there is confidence in the business.’
Stockdale, an accountant, formed Assure Law last year with people from different professional sectors.
The firm, which has 20 staff and is recruiting, aims to ‘instil a business focus’ into law firms and create an environment to make the most of healthy profits and turnover.
Former managing partner Bernard Seymour has become senior partner of Linder Myers, with Stockdale and three other members of his team forming the firm’s management. Stockdale will be at the helm for ‘at least 18 months’, during which time he is ‘in effect on a consultancy contract from Assure Law’.
The immediate priority will be to improve the IT infrastructure and address levels of debt built up in recent years, he said.
Stockdale said there are no plans to cut any of Linder Myers’ 300 staff, but the nature of the business and its financial situation will be assessed over the next eight weeks.
Assure Law will continue to look for other legal businesses either to advise or to take a more hands-on role.