Russell Jones & Walker (RJW) is to outsource its family practice following the departure of head of private client and family Jeremy Abraham.
Police divorce specialist firm Gorvins, which has a 20-strong matrimonial team, has taken some of the work. Sources close to RJW said Gorvins would refer personal injury (PI) cases to RJW in return for the family referrals.
RJW marketing director Andy Hoe said: "While we're not replacing or recruiting anyone to the family department, we still receive queries about family work. We believe that it's appropriate to forward that work to the appropriate firm with the right specialism, and one of those firms is Gorvins." Questions about the future of RJW's family practice were raised when Abraham and his assistant quit the firm last December to join Matthew Arnold & Baldwin (MAB). A second family partner was employed by RJW but is currently on maternity leave.
RJW relaunched Claims Direct last year to position itself as a PI firm. It plans to take advantage of the Legal Services Act by taking on external investment.
Abraham chose to leave RJW because the emphasis placed on growing the family team by MAB was greater than that at RJW.
However, RJW insisted that the family practice was an essential part of its proposition and, by outsourcing the work, it could continue to offer existing clients family advice.