18/12/2014 - 14:24

ILH Group into administration

18/12/2014 - 14:24

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The ASX-listed parent company of law firm Rockwell Olivier has been placed in administration, opening up the possibility of its partners buying back the business.

ILH Group into administration

The ASX-listed parent company of law firm Rockwell Olivier has been placed in administration, opening up the possibility of its partners buying back the business.

The collapse of ILH Group follows a big loss last financial year, and the departure of many senior staff from Rockwell Olivier’s Perth office.

Former managing partner Paul Kordic, who spent 33 years at Rockwell Olivier, joined Jarman McKenna’s commercial law team this month, and former principal Charmaine Tsang has been appointed partner at Lavan Legal.

Their moves follow the loss of about a dozen staff in mid 2013, including former chief executive Mark Hemery, who joined Hotchkin Hanly.

Some of the former staff have told Business News they were disaffected by ILH Group’s corporate business model and the loss of autonomy.

ILH Group administrators KordaMentha said in a statement the operating subsidiaries would be “sold or recapitalised over the coming weeks” and in the interim would operate on a business-as-usual basis.

Rockwell Olivier was established as a national brand in May 2013, when ILH merged its three legal subsidiaries - Sydney’s Argyle Lawyers, Melbourne’s Rockwell Bates and Perth-based Talbot Olivier.

Later in 2013, ILH merged Perth firm Civic Legal with the Perth office of Rockwell Olivier.

The mergers were designed to reduce costs and help ILH deliver improved financial results.

The parent company's difficulties were highlighted by a 13 per cent slide in revenue last year to $27.4 million and a loss from ordinary activities of $4.5 million.

The fall in revenue was "primarily due to reduced workflow in the Perth legal business and a downturn in economic conditions in WA," the company said in its 2014 annual report.

Rockwell Olivier currently has eight partners and 21 legal staff in WA, ranking it number 32 on the BNiQ listing of WA law firms.

Two years ago, it had 35 legal staff, while Civic Legal separately had 13 legal staff.

ILH managing director Graeme Fowler resigned early this month and was replaced by David French, who heads the group’s wealth management business.

Its most recent financial results, for the three months to September 30, showed ILH Group had revenue of $8.1 million and EBITDA of $868,000.

 

 

 

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