DLA to move away from debt recovery

DLA is set to distance itself from its debt recovery arm, joining the legion of firms that have already made the strategic move away from volume work.

While not yet involved in formal negotiations, it is understood that the firm is fielding calls from interested parties looking to snap up the successful Bradford team.

The group is comprised of around 250 staff, most of whom are paralegals and support staff.

The team suffered a blow earlier this month after being replaced on the debt recovery panel of HM Customs & Excise by South West firm Clarke Willmott.

However, it remains a highly profitable part of the DLA offering, and last year contributed around 5 per cent to total turnover.

If concluded, the sale would mark the latest in a string of similar moves by other firms: in February 2002, Hammonds spun off its debt recovery arm,
Hammonds Debtline, which now trades as Drydens; in the same year, Halliwells saw part of its debt recovery arm depart for Pannone & Partners; and Addleshaw Booth & Co shut down its debt recovery arm in 1999.

DLA managing partner Nigel Knowles said: “Our business services group is performing strongly and remains part of our business. DLA has never been approached by another law firm concerning its disposal.”