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Slater and Gordon narrows loss to A$1bn after UK performance improves

Beleaguered Slater and Gordon has announced it expects to post an A$1.01bn net loss for the 12 months to 30 June 2016, with total revenue expected to come in at A$908.2m.

Slater and Gordon said it had improved its net loss in the second half of the year with after tax deficit expected to sit at A$59.3m following on from a first half loss of A$958.3m, due to a significant goodwill impairment.

The firm’s group managing director Andrew Grech pointed to upheaval in the firm’s UK arm in the first half of the financial year as a reason for the loss. Slater and Gordon began to restructure its UK operation after posting the almost £1bn shortfall in February this year. Concurrently the Australian-listed firm was given a two month deadline by its banks to deliver a repayment plan as it faces debt of A$741m.

As part of its bid to improve performance, the firm confirmed in January it was consulting on the closure of two of its UK offices, affecting 51 staff. Thirty-seven jobs at its Failsworth office were on the line while 14 staff also faced cuts in Derby.

Grech said the firm’s results for the first half were ‘extremely disappointing and well below expectations but claimed last year’s financial performance was ‘a story of two different halves’. He added: ‘In the second half we have taken significant steps to turn around the performance of the UK business. Whilst the UK performance programme is still in its early stages, the second half results indicate that our efforts are beginning to bear fruit.’

Earlier this month, Slater and Gordon’s head of professional standards and risk Rebecca Bell left to take on a similar role at Bates Wells Braithwaite.

In February the firm’s UK chief, Neil Kinsella, announced his retirement as UK head of general law, with Siri Siriwardene replacing him. The announcement coincided with media reports that Slater and Gordon was in talks over debt restructuring and brought in FTI Consulting in a bid to address its financial health.