Davies Arnold Cooper (DAC) is to close its Newcastle office with effect from 31 January
The insurance firm will service Newcastle clients from its base in Manchester. Partner David Hertzell said that the decision to shut up shop in Newcastle was prompted in part by the expiry of the lease on the office. Executive partner Daniel Gowan said: "With the lease expiring, there was a natural break. We didn't feel there was a need to have a presence in the North over and above our office in Manchester." In addition to this logistical constraint, the firm's strategy also removed the immediate necessity for two offices in the north of England. DAC has realigned its business into five departments - insurance, product liability, business services, property and property finance, and Madrid. Hertzell said: "The work carried out in the Newcastle office was entirely insurance-related, and with the establishment of the insurance department it was felt appropriate to consolidate the firm's regional business in the insurance area in Manchester." Gowan added: "It was always a small operation, managed from Manchester." The Newcastle office acted on a few local instructions, but mainly handled work for the firm's insurance clients. Gowan said that those clients had offered no objection to the idea of closing the Newcastle office. He observed: "Our clients said it made no difference whether they were served from Newcastle or Manchester. They said it was a matter for us to decide." Transferring its Newcastle operation to Manchester will save DAC both time and money. Gowan said: "There's a cost in terms of money and managerial time to running an additional office. When it was all added up, there was no advantage in having the extra office, so we closed it." The Newcastle office made up a small part of DAC's national coverage. Its two fee-earners, Richard Lord and Alison Newton, and two support staff have all found alternative positions. Gowan said he was glad that closing the office had been an amicable process.