Shoosmiths shuts London office

SHOOSMITHS & Harrison is to close its London office in February to concentrate solely on business in the provinces.

The firm will retain its six regional offices, including the Northampton base, and staff in London are currently discussing future plans with management.

Managing partner John Peet says the closure could see members of the London team – including three partners and five additional fee-earners – relocating to Northampton or the firm's other offices in Banbury, Nottingham, Reading, Rugby and Southampton.

He says although the firm recorded a 12 per cent increase in turnover in the first half of the year, the majority of its clients are situated outside London, and this prompted the closure.

“There's been no problem with our business generally. The firm is a regional firm and that's where our roots are. It's where our strengths lie, where our clients want us and where we want to concentrate our future investments,” says Peet.

“It's just a question of focusing where we think the main business opportunities lie in the future.”

Peet says the office will cease to operate as a profit centre on 28 February, but the premises will be kept as a site for meetings in the capital.

He says it is impossible to say whether any job losses will result from the closure, but agrees that a move out of London may not be appropriate for all staff.

“It's not the sort of news that people in the office would welcome. Obviously there's a dialogue going on between us and the staff and that will take a little time,” he says.