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.


Ambulance chaser

"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.

Tip Off ROF

Comments

ShootyMcShootyface 25 October 19 09:24

... So they settled their claim for about 1.7% of the originally claimed amount?

Classic Slater Gordon.

 

Anonymous 25 October 19 10:14

Don't choose a personal injury firm to advise on commercial matters. Irwin Mitchell or Shoosmiths for your IPO, anyone, anyone?

CrashNBurn 25 October 19 10:29

But we do have nice new laptops from Microsoft I can confirm.... 

Current betting in the office is the new opportunities are either Birmingham or Cardiff to go next or both.

#investinginpeople

Howdy Partner 25 October 19 11:08

Shooty - actually it’s worse than that as they agreed to bear their own costs, which appear to be about £11m or so!

Anonymous 25 October 19 14:46

CrashnBurn, I hear there's an empty floor at Manchester's Death Star.  How long can your overlords continue to pay for empty office space, before whoever survives the ongoing Manchester cull are told to go off and work in a Portacabin somewhere in the arse end of Patricroft?

SWFC 26 October 19 09:30

Wonder how long the lease for the Manc office has left? Upon expiry no doubt everyone will be shipped to the chicken shed PI production line in Liverpool

Sick business 28 October 19 18:28

Really can the SRA please go into this firm and shut it down. It is now beyond a joke.

Can you tell what it is yet? 29 October 19 09:12

SWFC from 2014 Place North West substantial rent-free period at the outset...?

Law firm Slater & Gordon is close to agreeing a deal to take 100,000 sq ft of prime Manchester office space at 58 Mosley Street, the former head office for Cobbetts.

The 104,000 sq ft building is owned by Bank of Ireland Asset Management, held in its New Ireland Pension Property Fund.

Slater & Gordon is understood to be taking the space at £22.50/sq ft on a 15-year lease with a substantial rent-free period at the outset.

The building has been vacant since rival law firm Cobbetts went into administration in January 2013.

The Australian-listed Slater & Gordon acquired Manchester-based Pannone in February 2014. Pannone currently occupies three neighbouring buildings at 123 Deansgate.

CBRE and Cushman & Wakefield acted as joint letting agents. OBI advised Slater & Gordon.

All parties declined to comment.

 

Anon 30 October 19 13:49

Slater & Gordon is a terrible place to work.  Pay is awful.  Nothing works properly.  Management are blind to problems.  Never have i worked somewhere where so many people have left.  Word of advice to job seekers, avoid this place like the plague.  It doesnt feel like a law firm anymore, its a call centre mentality, targets targets targets.  Waste money on rubbish IT systems and always neglect staff.  The people at top cash in, the rest can do one.

Anonymous 30 October 19 16:23

I feel your pain, 13.49.  I'm ex Fentons.  I lasted about six months into the S&G regime and realised the writing was on the wall.  I wouldn't wish S&G on my worst enemy.  Mercifully for him, my worst enemy was sacked by S&G a few weeks ago.

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