The property crash, a fraud and a sharp rise in insurance premiums drove a Hove legal practice into administration.
The company, Arscotts Solicitors, continues to trade though, having restructured through a legal and financial process known as a pre-pack administration.
While an unspecified number of redundancies were made, Andy Pear, one of the administrators, from RSM Tenon in Queen’s Road, Brighton, said that 23 jobs had been saved.
As a result of the administration process, which took place in January and was recorded in the London Gazette this week, Arscotts will stay trading at its Lansdowne Place offices.
Paul Arscott, 42, one of the company’s directors, said that the restructuring involved “the disposal of certain non-core parts of the firm”.
He said: “This followed a period of turmoil for many regional law firms over the past few years, with a significant drop in the volumes of property transactions.”
He said that the practice was on a firm financial footing and confident about its future.
Arscotts, founded by Paul’s father Keith Arscott in 1980, built a successful conveyancing practice during the property boom.
The firm expanded into Shoreham in 2005, buying premises in High Street.
The property crash, particularly after Northern Rock had to be rescued by the government in 2008, hit the business hard.
The directors were also reprimanded by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) late last year for breaching professional standards.
A report by the SRA’s Practice Standards Unit said that Keith Arscott, Paul Arscott, John Michael Searby and Christopher John Albon failed to give some clients the best possible information about costs.
The report also said that they accepted some introductions and referrals of business from others in a way that broke the professions’s rules.
Much of the report was positive and even praised the company’s client care, saying: “Your standard letters were comprehensive and compliant with the Solicitors Code of Conduct (SCC) in most respects.”
It also accepted that the four men had acted in good faith over the description of certain costs.
The SRA report added that the rule breach regarding referral fees for conveyancing clients was the result of an oversight not a deliberate omission.
The four men were ordered to repay those clients affected in full.
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