South East firm ASB Law has begun a redundancy consultation with 45 staff, including seven fee-earners, after consolidating its Brighton and Horsham offices with its Crawley and Maidstone bases.
As The Lawyer reported (16 June), the firm had expected that the 80 staff in Brighton and Horsham would move to the other offices. The closures form part of a three-year strategy to boost profitability and improve turnover by 39 per cent to £25m by 2010.
Managing ;partner Andrew Clinton said: “We’re looking at everything we’re doing as a business and aligning it with our strategic objectives – it made more sense for us to operate out of two centres.”
In the past year the firm has overhauled its partnership remuneration to an entirely merit-based system, redefined associates’ roles and created the position of ‘associate team leader’. In addition, it will focus on targeting larger corporate commercial transactions and private client work for high-net-worth individuals.
The planned office closures have resulted in three resignations and 11 voluntary redundancies, with another 31 facing compulsory ;redundancy. ;The redundancies include six property fee-earners and one debt recovery fee-earner.
In ;2004-05 ;ASB’s turnover hit £18.3m with a partnership of 43. The partnership now numbers 31, while turnover in 2007-08 stood at £17.9m.
Clinton said the figures were hiding the “story of a changing portfolio” of work at the firm, which he admitted had been lacking a central strategic vision for several years.