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Slater and Gordon in new acquisition

Posted by: Laurence Simons 26/01/15

Australian legal firm Slater & Gordon is planning another acquisition in the north-west. Slater & Gordon may be an Australian firm, but unlike the stereotypical Aussie who comes to the old dart and spends 99 per cent of their time in west London, the company has looked a long way beyond the capital for new investments.

Through a mix of establishing its own base and by making new acquisitions, the firm has built up a sizeable presence in Manchester, with around 700 staff now based in the city and plans to bring them together into one office, the Manchester Evening News reports.

Among its acquisitions in the past three years have been Fentons, John Pickering & Co,
Russell Jones & Walker and Pannone. It is now seeking to add to these by buying out the legal services division of Quindell Legal Services, which is based down the road in Liverpool.

Slater & Gordon has confirmed the possible move in a market statement, which said: "On January 2 2015, Quindell announced it had entered into exclusivity arrangements in respect of the possible disposal of an operating division of the group.

"The company notes the speculation concerning the identity of the third party and can confirm that Slater & Gordon Limited is the party referred to in previous announcements.

"There can be no certainty that these discussions will lead to an offer for, or the disposal of, an operating division of the group."

All this is helping Slater & Gordon move towards becoming Manchester's biggest legal firm. Specialising in personal, employment and business law, it may be able to benefit from the hoped-for growth in the city and wider urban belt across the north of England if government plans for an economic 'powerhouse of the north' come to pass.

In such circumstances, there would be more employment, more business transactions and a generally higher profile for Manchester, not least as it has the one large international airport in the region.

All of which may indicate to other Australian firms - and individuals - that there is life beyond London after all.