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A two-partner firm with offices across London and Kent has entered administration after losing a large personal injury claim services contract.
Kaslers Solicitors gave commercial and litigation advice to businesses as well providing family, personal injury, and wills and probate services to individuals. The firm, which has 30 staff, was established more than 70 years ago but went into administration on 31 August 2012 after appointing Gareth Morris and Charles Turner of FRP Advisory as joint administrators.
Morris and Turner have been advising Kaslers on its troubles since the beginning of August, helping the firm to transfer client files and lawyers to other law firms. According to Kaslers’ senior partner Michael Breeze, a number of the firm’s fee-earners have moved to around half a dozen different firms. It is not clear how many of the staff have been left without jobs.
A a spokeswoman for the administrators said: “Regrettably the 30 employees were made redundant, however as a result of the arrangements made with clients and staff most employees have already found new employment with other legal firms in the region.”
Breeze said that he is now “taking stock” and has not taken another position. Managing partner Simon Scott’s plans are not known.
In a statement, joint administrator Turner said: “Upon our initial introduction it was apparent that the firm was no longer in a position to continue to trade following the withdrawal of a significant contract for the provision of personal injury claim services. Our upmost focus has been to act in the interests of the clients as well as all creditors. With a view to this we assisted with a short trading period – to facilitate the transfer of clients and fee earners to other legal firms.”
Breeze declined to comment on the name of the client that cancelled its personal injury claims services contract with the firm, contributing to its demise. A message on Kaslers’ website read: “We regret to announce that, following nearly five years of recession (since Northern Rock in September 2007, Lehman Bros September 2008, the double dip recession, a quiet Olympic summer, now possibly a triple dip) with the current economic outlook and prospect of rises in professional indemnity insurance premiums; Kaslers Solicitors LLP have decided that it is not viable to continue the firm.”
According to the firm’s LLP accounts, which did not disclose turnover, the firm had net liabilities of £2,998 in the year ending 31 January 2011. A statement in the accounts at that time read: “The financial statements have been prepared under the going concern basis, notwithstanding the deficiency of net assets on the basis that the members have confirmed that the necessary funds will be made available to enable the partnership to meet its liabilities as and when they fall due.”
Kaslers has three offices; two in Kent and one in Canary Wharf.