Categories:North East

Dickie Dees to launch in Leeds with transfer of entire York office

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  • Makes sense to move to a city that doesn't have a saturated market in which other North Eastern rivals have had mixed fortunes.

    Oh, wait...

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  • Mr Blair states that: "Yorkshire’s been a success for us, but the logical next step was to position ourselves in Leeds”.
    So, DD obviously decided to establish a York office as a stepping stone to Leeds. That's not only disrespectful to its York staff, but also belies DD's often stated commitment to York.
    It also appears odd that DD felt it needed a Yorkshire base, prior to a Leeds move.
    I wonder whether they established an office in Peckham, prior to opening in the City?

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  • 3 years ago I had an interview with the corporate team in Newcastle and I asked them why they chose York rather than Leeds.

    The answer was that "it would be foolish to base ourselves in Leeds" because "the big six are established and therefore we would be fighting for scraps". I thought that was a realistic assessment. Given they've gone backwards since they're surely further down the foodchain.

    I was lucky enough not to join, but I followed their progress since. They seem to make absurd decision after absurd decision. This strategy would have been good a decade ago but it's so out-dated as to look foolish.

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  • Frankly this encapsulates my view of Dickinson Dees.
    Dickinson Dees is a firm that makes mistakes and then pretends that they haven't.
    This is either an enormous U-Turn whereby they admit business weakness or a very desperate attempt to angle for a merger with a firm like Hammonds.
    To think that 15 years ago they were competing with Addleshaws. Now they'll be scrapping with Gordons for tiny pieces of work.

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  • Oh dear. This is like watching a slow motion car crash.

    The merger with Philip Ashworth & Co was perfect for Dickinson Dees. They were similar firms both in terms of reputation (decent but not national big hitters) and culture (conservative, resistant to change and ostentatiously proud of their roots).

    Making this move is going to be needlessly expensive, alienate the workforce and send a clear message that Dickinson Dees does not consider the York market important enough.

    Furthermore, this announcement underlines that at a management level, Dickinson Dees are behind the times. Frankly it's now too late for the firm to move to Leeds.

    In 2007 Dickinson Dees went public on their view that Leeds was over-lawyered. That is as true today as it was then. Indeed since then a few other firms have opened in Leeds.

    Two of the firms which opened up in Leeds after 2007 were Ward Hadaway and DWF. These two firms represent a real danger to Dickinson Dees as they are squeezing the firm's traditional market. Both Ward Hadaway and DWF have grown faster than Dickinson Dees in each of the last five years. Furthermore they are both making eroding Dickinson Dees market position in Newcastle and the North East.

    Opening up in Leeds is going to be an expensive investment for the firm which produces little reward. DWF is now paying higher salaries and securing the best talent in Newcastle, whereas Ward Hadaway is now the firm with the strongest client roster.

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  • I bet it ends up like their London office.

    No staff, but mentioned on every press release.

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  • If Yorkshire has been such a goldmine, let's see management show their commitment and declare the new Leeds office as Dickinson Dees's HQ.

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  • Despite the gloss, it's clear something is going very wrong at Dickinson Dees.

    Reports in other parts of the legal press today, seemingly confirmed by Dickinson Dees's own HR team, state that only 36% of trainees will be taking up a job within Dickinson Dees upon qualification.

    This is the lowest of any large firm in the country.

    This doesn't sound like a firm on the up, especially as it appears many have had offers but decided its better to go elsewhere.

    Personally I hope they sort out their problems very soon as underneath all of their problems, there's a good firm wanted to get out.

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  • I get the impression Dickinson Dees isn't very good at due diligence. Surely every argument for moving offices would have been apparent in 2007 when they looked into merging with Ashworths.

    Staff morale must be awful.

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  • Something smells fishy.
    Why would you announce that in 12 months time you'll move your entire operation down the road.
    I predict a merger, probably with DWF or Walker Morris.

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  • This has another "Watson Burton, Leeds" disaster written all over it. Why move out of a loyal and niche market into a bear pit like Leeds, especially when you have missed the boat years ago ? I can assure you that the established firms in Leeds will be looking distainfully down thier noses and shaking their heads, while their local competitors will be looking forward to the project bleeding them dry.

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  • I agree. Dickinson Dees are copying the Watson Burton blueprint.

    What worries me is that they seem so reactive, so many of their decisions seem about "keeping up with the Jones's".

    So they made a big play of making the most of the opportunities around ABS. However they spotted that other firms weren't interested, so they shelved that idea. They burst into York with lots of publicity, but then nobody followed, so they went back to the herd.

    It's a shame as I think JB is the right man for the job.

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