find the latest legal job
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Banking and Finance Law | Location: All Perth WA
· Freelance opportunities through Vario from Pinsent Masons
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Adelaide SA
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Freelance Lawyers
Category: Other | Location: All Melbourne VIC
· • Qualified lawyer with a strong academic background
View details
Insurance Lawyer (1 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Brisbane CBD & Inner Suburbs Brisbane QLD
· Great Career Opportunity ·
View details
Insurance and Health Lawyer (1-4 PAE)
Category: Insurance and Superannuation Law | Location: Melbourne CBD & Inner Suburbs Melbourne VIC
· New position to support Growth ·
View details
London calling for Slater & Gordon

London calling for Slater & Gordon

Slater & Gordon has splashed out around $80 million to enter the UK legal market.

The listed plaintiff law firm announced its intention to purchase Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) for ₤53.8 million ($79.8 million) yesterday (30 January).

Final approval for the sale is subject to the granting of an Alternative Business Structures Licence by the UK Solicitors Regulation Authority, which the firm’s managing director, Andrew Grech, expects to be issued over the coming few weeks.

“We spent three years researching what we think was a once in a 10-year opportunity to seize the day,” said Grech when speaking to Lawyers Weekly from London.

“That opportunity arose due to profound changes in the UK legal landscape and changes in the personal injury landscape.”

The UK is currently in the process of deregulating its legal sector, with the commencement of the Legal Services Act 2007 in October last year paving the way for big companies from outside the profession to enter the legal market and for UK law firms to list on the London Stock Exchange (LSE).

Grech said the firm spoke with about 30 law firms and claims management companies when looking to enter the British legal market, and said the decision to enter via an $80 million acquisition was “a fair price for a good quality firm”.

“From a cultural perspective, we are both very closely aligned,” he said. “Their history has some strong parallels with Slaters, in that both firms were both founded on the back of links with the trade union movement.”

RJW was founded in 1926 and specialises in personal injury and employment law. It has 425 staff across 10 locations in the UK.

Slaters will incorporate a wholly-owned subsidiary company in the UK, Slater & Gordon UK Ltd, to run its British business. The current RJW CEO, Neil Kinsella, will become CEO of Slater & Gordon’s UK business.

A number of senior people from Slaters will also spend time in the UK to assist with the transition of RJW into the Slaters network. Executive director Ken Fowlie is already living in the UK, while Christine Heyting, Slaters’ general manager of human resources, will divide her time between Australia and the UK.

Cath Evans, who has previously run the firm’s personal injury practice in Victoria and is the current manager for corporate development and operations in Melbourne, will also relocate to the UK for two years to manage the IT operations and help manage the family law and crime and regulation practice groups.

Slaters was able to fund the purchase of RJW on the back of recent growth, with the firm pulling in $182.3 million in revenue for 2010-11; a 46.2 per cent increase on the previous period.

Grech said Slaters does not plan to purchase any more UK firms “in the short to medium term”, and that there are no immediate plans for the listed law firm to raise additional capital on the capital market.

Like this story? Read more:

QLS condemns actions of disgraced lawyer as ‘stain on the profession’

NSW proposes big justice reforms to target risk of reoffending

The legal budget breakdown 2017

London calling for Slater & Gordon
lawyersweekly logo
Promoted content
Recommended by Spike Native Network
more from lawyers weekly
Please, Continue (Hamlet), Melbourne Festival
Oct 16 2017
Hamlet suffers slings and arrows of top Victorian barristers
Victorian judges and barristers have performed the unique play Please, Continue (Hamlet) at the Melb...
Julian Assange
Oct 13 2017
When justice fails, according to Assange
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has dismissed the capacity of judicial systems to deal with complex...
Aussie anti-terrorism laws, detention of 10-year-olds
Oct 13 2017
Treatment of kids under Aussie anti-terrorism laws an over-reach: ABA
The Australian Bar Association has urged the government to reconsider proposed reforms to Australian...
APPOINTMENTS
Allens managing partner Richard Spurio, image courtesy Allens' website
Jun 21 2017
Promo season at Allens
A group of lawyers at Allens have received promotions across its PNG and Australian offices. ...
May 11 2017
Partner exits for in-house role
A Victorian lawyer has left the partnership of a national firm to start a new gig with state governm...
Esteban Gomez
May 11 2017
National firm recruits ‘major asset’
A national law firm has announced it has appointed a new corporate partner who brings over 15 years'...
opinion
Nicole Rich
May 16 2017
Access to justice for young transgender Australians
Reform is looming for the process that young transgender Australians and their families must current...
Geoff Roberson
May 11 2017
The lighter side of the law: when law and comedy collide
On the face of it, there doesn’t seem to be much that is amusing about the law, writes Geoff Rober...
Help
May 10 2017
Advocate’s immunity – without fear or without favour but not both
On 29 March 2017, the High Court handed down its decision in David Kendirjian v Eugene Lepore & ...