From Official Announcement:
DWF, the global provider of integrated legal and business services, today issues the following update on current trading and some changes to its Australian footprint.
Management has continued to review operations and performance levels to ensure all locations align with the Group strategy. The decision has been taken to rationalise the Group’s Legal Advisory operations in Australia, with an orderly closure of those operations in Melbourne, Sydney and Newcastle. The Brisbane office and the Group’s Connected Services operations in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane will be retained.
These changes will enable a leaner Australian business to focus on institutional clients and core sectors, such as insurance, which have a stronger strategic fit for the Group and offer the best opportunity for sustainable and profitable growth, by integrating other products and services provided by Mindcrest and Connected Services.
Subject to the formal consultation process which will be undertaken, the Group anticipates that the office closures will regrettably result in approximately 85 employees and 14 principal lawyers (partners) leaving the business. Damien van Brunschot will continue to lead the Australian business and will join the Group’s Executive Board from 1 May as previously announced.
While we expect an FY21 loss for the Australian operations of between £3m and £4m and some one-off non-underlying associated closure costs in FY21, these changes are anticipated to be earnings enhancing for the Group.
Irrespective of the action being taken in Australia, the Group continues to see an improving financial performance for FY21 with Q3 trading building upon the positive revenue and profit trajectory reflected in the FY21 interim results. The Group expects FY21 performance to be at least in line with expectations.
DWF is the largest publicly listed law firm on the London Stock Exchange. Its share price is about 42% below its peak in February 2020 and 33% below its level of two years ago at around the time of its listing.