Slater and Gordon is putting around 100 staff in its Watford office at risk of redundancy, having recently axed 29 staff with its closure of Leeds.
The firm's Watford base is "expected to be shut down within weeks", a source told RollOnFriday. The 100 staff in redundancy talks are predominately claims handlers in a call centre. The firm declined to confirm the number that were going to be made redundant, saying they were "in consultation".
The firm has been closing branches faster than Jamie Oliver. Since 2017, it has closed offices in Chester, Wrexham, Milton Keynes and Preston, and most recently it shut down Leeds with the loss of 25 fee-earners. However its enthusiasm for snaring clients with rope-a-dope marketing has not cooled.
"Hang on, I don't even work at Slater and Gordon anymore."
In other news this week, the ambulance-chasing firm finally settled a two-year claim with Watchstone Group (previously known as Quindell) for £11 million.
S&G had originally tried to claim £637 million - the value of its acquisition of Quindell in 2015, on the basis of fraudulent misrepresentation and breach of warranty. The disastrous purchase was largely blamed for the miseri annis that followed. The firm recorded a AUD1 billion loss in 2015/16 and its shares were suspended. In 2017 disgruntled shareholders launched an action against S&G resulting in the firm agreeing in principle to a AUD36.5 million settlement payment. The Australian business separated from S&G's UK arm later that year.
"We are pleased this matter has drawn to a conclusion" said David Whitmore CEO of Slater and Gordon commenting on the settlement with Watchstone. “As a business, we have not been distracted by this case – we have new management, new expectations, new processes to support our staff, partners and customers and new technology to make our work more efficient and effective".
Whitmore added "We look forward to the opportunities that lie ahead.” Staff laid off by the firm might not share his optimism.