Personal injury firm Thompsons Solicitors is to close three offices and make staff redundant as part of a 12-month plan to restructure the business.
Staff members were informed today that offices in Derby, Wimbledon and Chelmsford have all been earmarked for closure. The personal injury practice in Plymouth is also likely to shut.
Staffing levels in all the remaining 17 offices will be reviewed as part of a consultation starting today.
Chief executive Stephen Cavalier said he was ‘hopeful’ that any staff cuts necessary will be achieve through voluntary redundancy. In the case of the office closures, staff will be transferred to other offices while the wider consultation takes place.
The firm, which describes itself as the leading legal adviser to trade unions and their members, has suffered since the introduction of the Legal Aid, Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act, reduced costs for RTA claims and fixed costs for employers’ and public liability claims.
Cavalier said changes were necessary to ensure the firm, which employs 885 people, remains ‘viable and resilient’ in the face of government reforms.
The 12-month review will look again at case intake and income and the revised structure will reflect that a high proportion of PI cases must be dealt with through a computerised system.
Cavalier said the consultation with employees will not just involve job numbers but also team structures and roles of remaining staff members.
‘Our objective is to deliver a high quality service which delivers justice for working people and those who suffer injury or disease,’ he said.
‘We will achieve this by retaining talent and making the business stronger to meet the challenges we face.’
He added that the reshaping of the firm should be complete by September 2016 and will result in every branch continuing to handle multi-track PI work and offer employment rights representation.