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Cobbetts to enter administration

Administration is looming for law firm Cobbetts. It has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators and is being put up for sale, blaming tough trading conditions.

Cobbetts, headquartered in Manchester, employs around 500 people in its offices in Leeds, London and Birmingham.

In a statement, the firm said, “Having regard to the difficult trading conditions in the professional services sector, we have reluctantly concluded that the appropriate course at this time is for the firm to obtain the protection of an interim statutory moratorium to enable a sale of the business and assets of the firm to be concluded in a short timeframe.

“We are also working closely with our regulator, the SRA, with all stakeholders and our professional advisors to achieve the best outcome for creditors, clients, employees and members.

“We remain confident that we will be able to provide a further positive update in the very near future.”

The plans to appoint administrators may come as a surprise to some, as in December it announced fee incomes of more than £20 million for the six months to November 2012.

Speaking at the time, Nick Carr, managing partner, said the law firm was pleased with the results which it had achieved during a “challenging economic environment”.

He added, “As forecast, there has been no real growth in the UK legal market over the last six months.

“Considering the prevailing market conditions, we set and met a prudent but still challenging budget, forecasting fee generation in line with the market and seeking to align expenditure to anticipated income.

“Our half year results ensure we remain on target, and new client wins mean that trading predictions for the next six months are strong. We expect to meet our financial targets by year end.”

By Kirsty Hewitt

Cobbetts to enter administration
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