A firm dating back almost 250 years – and one of the original stable of QualitySolicitors members – has gone into administration.
Howlett Clarke Solicitors LLP, based in Brighton, appointed administrators from FRP Advisory last month, according to a London Gazette notice.
The firm had two offices and marketed itself as the longest-established solicitors firm in Brighton and Hove. It was one of 15 firms to become a branch of the then groundbreaking QualitySolicitors network when the network launched in 2010.
According to reports in the Brighton Argus, the firm suffered severe cashflow difficulties in recent months and stopped taking on new client work in January. It is reported that 19 members of staff have been made redundant.
A spokesperson for QualitySolicitors said: ‘We would like to acknowledge the close relationship we had with Howlett Clarke Solicitors, a well-established law firm and longstanding network partner. The news of the firm’s administration was sad to hear and ultimately points to the challenges of a tough current marketplace. We understand the firm has put arrangements in place to ensure a smooth transition for those clients affected. We wish those in the team the very best for the future.’
According to financial statements filed with Companies House for the year to 31 March 2018, the firm owed around £1.2m to creditors within one year, including £771,802 in bank loans and overdrafts, and £120,785 to trade creditors. Amounts owed by debtors had increased 5% to around £1.45m.