Trade union heavyweight Lawfords closes its doors after half a century

Personal injury specialist Lawfords is to dissolve its partnership on 1 July, The Lawyer can reveal.

The 51-year-old firm is set to close its doors this summer after several troubled years that have seen the partnership shrink from 18 partners in 2002 to just eight.

Senior partner Graham Humby confirmed the dissolution, and told The Lawyer: “It’s simply due to a lack of communality between the partners as to the development of the firm.”

He added that the firm will help its 80 staff to find new positions elsewhere, and declined to comment further.

In addition to its eight partners, Lawfords has two assistant solicitors working in its London office. Only one lawyer, partner Neil McKinley, works out of the Nottingham satellite branch.

The dissolution is the end of a firm that was founded in 1954. Over the decades it built up a reputation as a strong trade union practice, acting for clients such as Amicus and Unison. It is understood that the firm lost its panel positions for those clients in 2003, and closed its Manchester office late that year.

In October 2004, it was reported that Lawfords was set to make four personal injury solicitors and six support staff redundant. The firm also sold its lease for its London office in Richbell Place, near Gray’s Inn, and moved into new premises in St John Street nearby in December.