05:36, November 30 50 0

2017-11-30 05:36:09
Slater & Gordon to close four UK offices amid restructure

Slater & Gordon is set to close four of its regional offices as part of a continued review of the firm’s UK operations.

The Australian-listed firm will close locations in Chester, Milton Keynes and Wrexham, and has opted not to renew the lease on its Preston office which expires in summer 2018.

It is thought that closures will be limited to four in this round of reviews.

Slater & Gordon announced that it would be splitting from its UK arm after a drastic fall of 46.3 per cent in profits for the 2016/17 financial year.

These closures will bring the number of Slater & Gordon’s UK offices down from 14 to 10.

A spokesperson for the firm said: “We have assessed our geographic footprint with a view to bringing it in line with our vision of delivering our services from strategic centres of excellence.

“Following this review, we are considering a plan to consolidate a number of our smaller offices into our larger regional hubs, where colleagues can share their outstanding knowledge and expertise across a range of legal fields.”

Last year, Slater & Gordon chairman John Skippen apologised to shareholders for the firm’s poor financial performance and announced sweeping office closures throughout 2017.

After slashing 640 roles from its UK operations in October 2016, the firm then hired 80 new lawyers and staff a month later.

Three of the four offices set for closure received staff in this round of hiring. Chester and Milton Keynes received business and personal legal services staff while Preston strengthened its business legal services offering.

Much the restructuring was prompted by a number of acquisitions, culminating in the failed acquisition of insurance outsourcer Quindell’s professional services arm for roughly £700m in 2015.

Slater & Gordon gained both the Chester and Wrexham offices through a bolt-on with Welsh firm Walker Smith Way in 2015.