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Slater and Gordon announce ‘reorganisation’ plans after revealing £493m loss

Decline in UK business performance a 'serious concern', says firm's managing director

29 February 2016

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Slater and Gordon have announced plans to undertake a 'reorganisation' of its UK business following a staggering £493m loss.

The firm - which has some 20 offices across Britain - reported a net loss after tax across its Australian and UK operations during the second half of 2015.

In a series of announcements to the Australian Stock Exchange, it was disclosed that £435m of the loss represented the company's acquisition of Quindell plc, the insurance claims management company, which has been rebranded Slater Gordon Solutions.

A further £19.5m was lost across the group's other UK-based businesses. UK turnover was found to be up 7.7 per cent to £60m.

As a result of the losses, Slater and Gordon's UK business are set to be consolidated, with its fast-track personal injury services confined to 'a more limited number of regional centres'.

The firm floated on the Sydney stock exchange in 2007 and purchased a host of UK firms - including Russell Jones & Walker, Fentons, and Pannone - within the three years of arriving in the UK.

Despite being seen as a major player in the low value personal injury claims sector, and having embarked on a multi-million pound brand building campaign, the firm has seen its share price plunge 90 per cent over the last year.

Commenting on the news, Andrew Grech, Slater and Gordon's managing director, said the results were 'clearly disappointing'.

'In particular the decline in business performance in the UK is of serious concern to all at Slater and Gordon and equally will be of concern to our investors.

'We will therefore be taking a number of necessary and significant steps to improve the operational performance of both the UK business and the broader Slater and Gordon Group.'

Serious and specialist personal injury and general law services will be consolidated into specialised units at selected locations under the company's new plans.

The firm said it expects to close of a number of current offices and will undertake a consultation process with those employees likely to be impacted.

The managing director said that the reorganisation would ensure the firm continued to provide its clients with 'legal services at affordable prices'.

'We want to reassure all of our clients that there will be no change in the service you experience now or in the future. This year across the UK and Australia our staff will serve nearly 200,000 clients, more than we ever have in our history,' he said.

'Our success over the past 80 years is due to our commitment to our clients and our long history is built on providing the best possible outcomes for them. This is what we do best and this is what we will continue to do every single day. We have always put the interests of our clients first and that will never change.'

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