A personal injury firm based in Canary Wharf, London, has entered administration and appears to have been absorbed into another practice.
Prolegal Limited, which posted £3.82m turnover for the year ending December 2013 – the most recent year that full accounts were published – entered administration on 30 September.
According to a notice posted in the London Gazette, the company’s administration is being handled by restructuring specialist Quantuma.
The Gazette understands the firm has been transferred into the same management as London firm Gordon Dadds, which last year acquired commercial firm Jeffrey Green Russell in a pre-pack deal.
A new business, now called Prolegal Solicitors Limited, was incorporated with Companies House in August, with Gordon Dadds managing partner Adrian Biles (pictured) immediately appointed as the company’s sole director.
Prolegal Solicitors was previous named as Garrynasillagh Limited, which was approved as an alternative business structure by the Solicitors Regulation Authority last month. Adrian Biles was listed as head of legal practice of that entity.
The collapse of Prolegal Limited will come as a surprise to many in the personal injury sector, after the firm had quickly come to prominence following its creation in 2004.
The firm had marketed itself as a ‘new breed of law firm based in Canary Wharf which is challenging the conventional methods by which legal services are delivered’.
It was led by commercial litigator Simon Edwards and Susan Brown, who is the current chair of the Motor Accident Solicitors Society. Brown left her position as director in July this year.
According to accounts for the full year 2013, turnover had fallen from £4.5m to £3.82 within a year. The company reported around £450,000 profit before tax for the year.
But the accounts, which show 44 staff were employed at the end of 2013, reveal that the business had already suffered from reforms to the personal injury market.
In his notes introducing the accounts, Edwards said the firm had moved away from the low-value, high-volume motor PI sector to focus on other personal injury claims, as well as growing practice areas in employment, family and professional negligence services.
The company was exempted from posting full accounts for 2014 because of its size, but the reduced version does indicate that amounts due to creditors within one year had risen from £6.34m to £7.14m at the last accounting date.
The Gazette attempted to contact Prolegal Limited for comment, but received just a recorded message.
5.45pm Update: The Gazette has received the following statement on behalf of Brook Street Holdings: 'Adrian Biles is a member of Brook Street Holdings LLP, which is an investor in Prolegal Solicitors Limited.
'Brook Street Holdings LLP is also an investor in Gordon Dadds LLP, but the two businesses are entirely separate. Brook Street Holdings LLP is very excited about the future for Prolegal Solicitors Limited, and further announcements regarding its management and future strategy will follow in due course.'