High profile Birmingham firm closes after SRA intervention
15 March 2013
Birmingham head-quartered personal injury firm Blakemores has closed following a Solicitors' Regulation Authority intervention. And its 250 staff look set to lose their jobs.
Blakemores also owned the 'Lawyers2you' direct marketing brand, best known for accosting potential clients in shopping centres. However it was taken over by the SRA on Monday 11 March "in order to protect the interests of clients
". All 250 staff in the firm's Birmingham and Leamington Spa offices were told to clear their desks and sod off home, according to a Law Society Gazette report
. And if the staff want any redundancy pay, it seems they'll need to contact the government. As Mondays go, it was a pretty bad one.
||A furious Brummie yesterday |
Blakemores is just the latest in an increasing list of law firms to close, with its collapse following the recent implosions of Cobbetts
, Semple Fraser
and fellow PI outfit Calibre
. It's not yet clear whether, as in Cobbetts' case, a white knight firm will be rushing in to save Blakemore's 250 staff. But whatever the outcome for the firm, with legal aid cuts biting and the saturated PI market shrinking, it's a really sh*t time to be a personal injury lawyer.
A spokesman for the SRA said "It was necessary to intervene in order to protect the interests of clients...An intervention means the SRA has closed a firm with immediate effect. We will stop the firm from operating, take possession of all documents and papers held by the firm (including clients' papers), and take possession of all money held by the firm (including clients' money)