Ward Hadaway picks up bulk of work from defunct EOS Law

Newcastle-headquartered Ward Hadaway has picked up the majority of the work in progress (WIP) from the recently defunct corporate boutique EOS Law in Manchester. 

A significant proportion of EOS Law’s WIP was transferred to Ward Hadaway before the partnership entered into administration on 4 December, it has emerged today.

The remaining WIP was transferred to the director of Manchester-based Atticus Legal, Kevin Philbin, when BDO business restructuring partners Dermot Power and Patrick Lannagan were appointed.

EOS Law was established by former DLA Piper Manchester head Simon Woolley after his retirement from the firm in 2009.

There have been 17 job losses as a result of the firm’s collapse. Eleven people were made redundant prior to the administrators’ appointment while a further six members of staff were working out notice periods, which were terminated as soon as the appointment was made.

Sources close to EOS Law suggested that the firm had difficulties building up a strong enough client base in Manchester’s SME sector to sustain a viable business.

Power said:  “Unfortunately, the economic climate and difficult trading conditions have significantly affected the business, together with pressures on working capital”.

Newcastle-headquartered Ward Hadaway saw its revenue increase by 10 per cent in 2012/13 from £30m in 2011/12 to £33m, with particularly strong growth for its Leeds office, which increased revenues by 25 per cent (11 July 2013).

The firm confirmed the transfer of work from EOS Law but declined to comment further. A spokesperson for the administrators confirmed that no staff have transferred.

Woolley retired as DLA Piper’s Manchester head at the end of 2009 and was replaced by David Gray, who stepped down earlier this year (25 July 2013).