Johnston Withers acquires Adelaide Slater and Gordon office

Johnston Withers acquires Adelaide Slater and Gordon office

South Australian based law firm Johnston Withers has acquired the Adelaide office of embattled law firm Slater and Gordon.

Upon the acquisition, Johnston Withers' staff will increase to nearly 60 members as six of Slater and Gordon's lawyers and support staff are retained from the buyout.

One lawyer was made redundant in the reshuffle alongside a number of support staff.

The combined business will continue to operate from Slater and Gordon's current offices on South Terrace.

This latest win for Johnston Withers follows last year's acquisition of Murray Bridge based conveyancing firm Marshall Conveyancing Group.

Andrew Mitchard (pictured right), the managing director of Johnston Withers, says this strategy of growth is bolstering the abilities of the firm.

"We've increased the number of staff at our firm by about 10 people over the past two years," says Mitchard.

"The benefit of bringing in Slaters being strong in personal injury work is that it really bolsters a traditional area for Johnston Withers and boosts our footprint with a lot of continuity."

Mitchard says the acquisition is particularly interesting as it is a local firm acquiring an arm of a large national legal brand.

"A lot of bigger commercial firms are national affiliations and I think with this one it's going the other way it's certainly going against the trend."

Slater and Gordon has operated in Adelaide for 14 years since it opened a branch in the SA capital to pursue local asbestos-related compensation claims.

The national firm took a turn for the worst in 2015 after an acquisition of a UK professional services firm went sour.

Since then, the firm has been downsizing, divesting, and reducing the size of its commercial litigation division.

Tim Downie (pictured left), Slater and Gordon's former SA practice group leader and now a member of the Johnston Withers team, says clients are pleased with the way the merger has proceeded.

"If you build a relationship with your lawyer you generally like to stick with them it's very much a fiduciary relationship," says Downie.

"It's a really good fit with a firm that's been around for more than 70 years, and with an office in Whyalla where a lot of our clients have historically come from."

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