Threat of administration for 200-year-old Bristol company

Thu, 18 Jan 2018

A 190-year old Bristol law practice has called in administrators after financial difficulties meant its management could no longer keep the business running successfully.

Jobs at Burroughs Day, a law firm that can trace its history back to 1829 when its founder opened a Bristol office, will be saved, however, after the business was bought through a pre-pack administration.

A deal negotiated by insolvency specialists Quantama saw Burroughs Day’s assets sold onto fellow Bristol firm Metcalfes Solicitors, with 79 jobs switching over to the buying company.

Quantama’s partner, Andrew Hosking, said: “Despite being a strong mixed-practice firm with a long history, a combination of declining turnover and a rising cost base has eroded profitability such that the current business was not viable without significant additional working capital.”

Burroughs Day also operates from a Somerset office, located in Portishead, and posted a total turnover of £4.2 million for 2016/17.

Representatives from the firm were some of the key minds behind the QualitySolicitors network, before they announced last may that they would cut ties with the group and trade as a rebranded LLP.

The new business under Metcalfes Solicitors will encompass more than 100 employees and partners, with most of the firm’s activity focusing on property law, personal injury claims, clinical negligence cases, family mediation and dispute resolution. The conjoined business will allow for ‘significant’ economies of scale and a more efficient and cost-effective service, the firm said.

Anthony Heath, Metcalfes’ managing partner, said: “We are looking forward to working with our new colleagues, and I am confident that the enlarged business can be developed into a significant law firm in the Bristol legal and business community.”

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