Listed legal business Fairpoint Group will examine ‘certain structural changes’ as part of ongoing efforts to turn around its fortunes.
The company has started a consultation process with staff about the future of the business. The Gazette understands all options, including redundancies, are open at this stage.
Reports have suggested the Simpson Millar owner has placed 300 jobs under threat, but Fairpoint has stressed that the consultation is about listening to staff and that no decisions have been made.
In a statement, the company said: ‘The group has entered a consultation process to agree certain structural changes.
‘This process reflects the group’s previous announcements that its debt management business will be closed in early 2017, that its core strategic focus going forward would be on its legal services business, and also reflects the group’s plans to mitigate the impact of the recently announced reduction in expected trading performance. The consultation process will determine which structural changes will be made in time.’
The Gazette understands that discussions will be held about the Simpson Millar office in Newcastle, for which the lease is due to expire soon. The firm has another office in nearby Gateshead.
Fairpoint entered the legal services market in 2014 with the purchase of national firm Simpson Millar in a deal worth £15m.
The company reported to the London Stock Exchange last month that full-year results for 2016 are likely to be ‘materially below market expectations’.
Fairpoint had already reported in September that it had increased borrowing to fund acquisitions as it sought to expand its legal services provision and focus less on its original debt recovery business.