Half of Slater and Gordon's management team are leaving the firm, which is now considering the sale of several parts of its business.
As well as the departure of chief executive David Whitmore, which was announced earlier this week, the coming months will also see the Chief People Officer, Raminder Grewal, the Chief Marketing Officer, Dane Stanley, and the Chief Commercial & Insurance Services Officer, Matt Jarvis, leave the business.
Grewal had only just been appointed CPO after the last one, Alicia Alinia, left in December 2021. The former CFO left in February, and the Chief Technology Officer has also gone.
The firm put a progressive gloss on the exec exodus, telling ROF, "We are proud that over half of the positions on our Executive Leadership Team are now held by women".
The swathe of c-suite departures comes as the firm reorganises itself into two sections. One will incorporate departments which deal with lower value, high volume personal injury claims, as well as the Scottish branch, and the other will incorporate teams which deal with more complex, higher value PI claims, as well as clinical negligence, industrial disease and public inquiries work.
The firm rebuffed rumours it was looking for a merger, stating that its recent successful settlement of the VW emissions case on behalf of over 71,000 claimants had "enabled us to invest and refocus our business", and that the new structure would "enable better growth and efficiency".
However, it is considering selling off chunks. The firm confirmed to RollOnFriday that it was "reviewing a number of options for the future of Collective Actions, Adroit and Residential Conveyancing, including a possible sale of those parts of the business", adding that, "We are supporting these teams closely through this process".
"Whole departments are now at risk with Slater & Gordon planning for the WIP being sold off", said a source, who claimed more redundancies were in the offing as the firm's hedge fund owner, Anchorage Capital, looked to "claw back their investment and draw a line under the loss leader following the successful VW settlement".
Whitmore took the CEO post in 2018, when Anchorage bought the UK portion of Slater and Gordon off the listed Australian parent company after its disastrous purchase of Quindell.
Under Whitmore, who has been replaced by Nils Stoesser, the chief financial & operating officer, Slater and Gordon closed offices under a 'go remote' strategy which may have suited the pandemic, but appeared to some employees as a neat excuse to lower costs by exiting leases, making secretive redundancies, and churning hundreds of staff.
Slaters scored sufficiently low marks in RollOnFriday's annual survey of law firm staff that it was anointed the Golden Turd in 2021.
The firm denied its teams were shrinking, telling RollOnFriday last November that "all our practice areas are growing and most are actively recruiting". That wasn't borne out by the firm's accounts for 2020, which showed headcount had dropped from 885 employees in 2018 to 485 - falling almost as fast as the current Slaters executive when he was nutted by his pal.