Yesterday, it was reported that David Whitmore, Chief Executive of Slater and Gordon (S&G), had begun informing staff that firm-wide redundancies are on the horizon, after the decision was made to disband the law firm’s noise-induced hearing loss (NIHL) team by the close of 2019.[i]
The majority of NIHL claims handling takes place in Leeds. It is understood that the Leeds NIHL presence will cease as of July 2019.
A spokesperson for S&G announced:
‘We have concluded the vast majority of our legacy noise induced hearing loss (NIHL) cases. Therefore, once these have been completed, we will no longer require capacity to handle such a high volume of this work and so our proposal is to reduce the size of the current NIHL team ...’
Of course, the ‘legacy NIHL cases’ are a reference to the end of a 3-year period, in which the claimant firm has handled almost 50,000 industrial disease claims. Most of these matters were acquired in 2015, upon completion of the £637 million Quindell takeover.
S&G’s latest annual report conceded that the UK arm of the business made ‘substantial losses’ through unanticipated underperformance with NIHL claims resolution. Furthermore, a lack of NIHL settlement created ‘inherent uncertainty’ when calculating prospective revenue.
[i] John Hyde, ‘Job losses possible as Slater and Gordon closes department’ (8 November 2018 Law Gazette) https://www.lawgazette.co.uk/practice/job-losses-possible-as-slater-and-gordon-closes-department/5068239.article> accessed 8 November 2018.