DWF faces loss of up to 37 jobs in Liverpool

DWF has told its Liverpool-based motor fraud team that a forthcoming restructure will involve placing several fee-earner and secretarial staff into a consultation that could result in the loss of up to 37 jobs.

According to a spokesperson at DWF the consultation is anticipated to begin in June but the exact timeframe is still being finalised.

DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland linked the move to a reduction in motor fraud litigation instructions after the Legal Aid Sentencing and Punishment of Offenders Act came into force in April 2013.

He added that he firm’s improved efficiency, centralised administrative functions and better IT systems meant that less admin support was required.

“It’s for these reasons and with real regret that we’ve had to inform the Liverpool fraud, intel and motor teams that we are proposing a restructure and we will shortly be entering a consultation which could potentially result in up to 37 role reductions across the fee-earner and secretarial populations,” he said.

Leaitherland said the firm would try and find alternative roles within the business for anyone affected and where that was not possible to provide CV and interview training to help them secure a new role elsewhere.

“We will do everything we can to support those affected,” he added.

The story was first reported on website Roll On Friday.

In April the firm cut 19 jobs as part of a consultation launched in March, which put 21 operational roles in its finance department at risk (17 April 2014).

DWF spent almost £17m on expansion in 2012/13, according to the firm’s LLP accounts (20 November 2013).

Its mergers with Biggart Baillie (7 June 2013), Buller Jeffries (2 April 2012), Claimbase and Fishburns (18 January 2013) cost a total of £12.9m, equal to the net assets of the acquisitions.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of Cobbetts in a pre-pack administration (6 February 2013) cost it £3.9m, including £1.8m in work in progress.

Last July DWF axed 38 roles after 80 were put into consultation (30 July 2013). This followed the loss of at least another 38 roles from its support team in March 2013 (27 March).

Elsewhere in the north-west, Manchester-based Linder Myers is understood to have put up to 50 jobs under a redundancy consultation on recommendation from Assure Law, which rescued the firm from administration earlier this year (22 May 2014).

Bolton-headquartered insurance firm Keoghs has put 41 staff at risk of redundancy following a restructuring of its counter-fraud team (30 January 2014) and Addleshaw Goddard also entered into redundancy talks with two associates in its Manchester-based employment team in February (11 February 2014).

Meanwhile, Ince & Co launched a redundancy consultation with 10 shipping and finance fee-earners and six secretarial staff (13 February 2014).