Wigan legal practice has gone bust

The office of Johnson Law in Gerald Street, Ashton, which has now been closed
The office of Johnson Law in Gerald Street, Ashton, which has now been closed

Administrators have been called in at a troubled law office in the borough, it has been confirmed.

Bosses at Johnson Law, which has premises in Gerald Street, Ashton, have blamed regulatory changes and financial pressures for the accident and personal injury industry for the closure.

Thirteen posts have been lost at their Ashton and Bolton offices as a result of the administrators being drafted in.

But insolvency experts Leonard Curtis say they have been able to transfer the firm’s caseload to other legal practices without the need for the solicitors’ regulator to be involved.

Joint administrators Julien Irving and John Titley are handling the winding down of the practice.

Mr Irving said: “Whilst the number of redundancies was unavoidable we are pleased to say that we have ensured over 700 client matters were seamlessly transferred to regulated practices and therefore avoided Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) intervention.”

He confirmed that the company had “experienced difficulties as a result of the regulatory and financial pressures currently being placed on the personal injury sector.”

A spokesman for the SRA confirmed that the regulator had been notified that the firm had gone into administration.

He said that the authority would only become involved if there was evidence the company had not been subject to an “orderly wind-down”.

“If any clients have any concerns about how their cases are being handled then they can go to the contact section of our website - www.sra.org.uk,” he added.

There is no suggestion of any impropriety surrounding the closure, unlike the demise of another Ashton solicitor’s firm, Garth Rigby, which closed down in December 2014.

An investigation was conducted by the SRA, which saw two solicitors, Natalie Crompton and David Wilson, suspended by the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal for wrongly transferring nearly £86,000 from three client accounts.