Slater & Gordon takes on Manchester HQ and re-jigs UK management

Slater & Gordon (S&G) has confirmed a UK management re-jig and taken on 105,000 sq ft of office space in Manchester.

The Australian-listed firm has secured seven floors of 58 Mosley Street Manchester, where it will bring legacy Pannone, Fentons and its pre-existing Manchester staff under one roof for the first time since the 2012/13 mergers.

As well as the new office being S&G’s largest worldwide, the firm claims it is the largest office occupied by a law firm in Manchester. More than 700 staff will be based there from early 2015.

S&G merged with specialist personal injury firm Fentons in September 2013, paying upfront cash of £24.25m for the firm, together with equity of £4m and deferred conditional cash of £4.25m over two years (21 August 2013)

In February it completed a second Manchester deal, acquiring the consumer arm of Pannone while the rest of the business spun out to form Pannone Corporate (17 February 2014).

As a consequence of the expansion chief operating officer (COO) Cath Evans, who had been expected to move back to Australia early next year, has been appointed UK chief executive officer (CEO).

Evans’ role change means that former Russell Jones & Walker managing partner Neil Kinsella is now head of UK and the role of COO is currently vacant.

Evans moved to the UK in July 2012 for a two-year stint. She is now expected to stay in the UK for another 18 months to two years, to oversee integration and the firm’s operations.

The new COO will report to the UK CEO and be responsible for delivery of financial and organisational goals, including continued growth, and key business support functions.

Kinsella said bringing the Manchester teams together was central to the firm’s integration plans and that the 105,000 sq ft of office leaves space for future growth.

The building will be refurbished to include a ‘community space’, which the firm said it is developing to engage with its clients and the local community. 

“The high street community space will be an area where members of the local community can just drop in, talk to a lawyer over a coffee and access legal information and resources in an approachable and relaxing environment,” Kinsella said.