North East Law Firm Swinburne & Jackson goes into Administration
Yet another law firm has gone into Administration. The 250 year old Swinburne & Jackson, currently structured as an LLP called in the Administrators with the loss of 250 jobs.
It is unknown at this time why the Administration was necessary, but one commentator on the Law Gazette website blamed the SRA and the Law Society for their actions over the past few years.
The profession has undergone significant change, some of which was overdue, but quite a large proportion of which is considered unnecessary by the majority. There have of course been changes brought on by the economic climate (such as cuts to publicly aided justice) and the increasing use of the internet as a resource for free advice.
The SRA is aware of the Administration and is content with the orderly winding down that is taking place. It is of paramount importance that an orderly winding down of a solicitors practice takes place to avoid any need for the SRA to intervene. The orderly winding down in simple terms involves the protection of clients and their financial interests so as to safeguard their financial position and the reputation of the profession.
Being in a solicitors practice is a difficult place to be, the red tape and regulatory burden on all professionals is too great and dealing with issues thrown up by your regulator can be incredibly time consuming. For those solicitors, where regulation is provided by the SRA, the most important objective is that of financial stability and the expectation that any firm that is not financially stable reports itself to the SRA. But sadly the actions of the SRA make it unlikely many firms will self-report given the burden it will then put on the firms resources at a time when cashflow may be difficult. Most firms are therefore in a catch 22 situation and often choose not reporting as the best solution.
This is where we help, we specialise in working with Solicitor practices where cahflow may be tight, or where law firms are insolvent and the partners and the firms need formally insolvency advice. From our work with Blakemores – one of the largest SRA interventions ever to have taken place – we know how important it is to communicate the right message with the right words to key stakeholders.
If your practice is in financial difficulty, contact us on 0161 929 8666.