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13 October 2020

Clyde & Co shuts Oxford arm and redistributes teams to Manchester and Bristol

International firm says move is in line with strategy of creating 'centres of excellence' for insurance

By John Malpas

Oxford

International firm Clyde & Co has closed its Oxford office and relocated its legal teams to its Manchester and Bristol branches.

The firm says the move is in line with a long-term strategy of creating centres of excellence within its regional UK insurance network of offices.

The office, which housed more than 20 lawyers, was inherited by the insurance giant when it merged with Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 2011.

The professional indemnity (PI) team, which was led by former partners Clive Brett and Ian Peacock who are now consultants, has moved to the firm’s Bristol office, which opened in 2018. It will combine with the office’s existing PI team to  create a 15-strong practice.

The PI claims handling team, however, has moved to Manchester where it will join forces with the professional and financial lines insurance claims team.

Also moving to Manchester is the regional property and liability team where it will join forces with its Manchester equivalent with the combined group to be led by partner Pete Unsworth.

James Cooper, chair of Clyde & Co's global insurance executive, said: "Our strategy has long been to create strong centres of excellence for our regional insurance practices across the country.”

The firm continues to operate a large network of UK offices reflecting its national insurance practice – aside from its London headquarters, it also has offices in Guildford, Leeds, Newcastle, Edinburgh and Aberdeen. There were three redundancies as part of the relocation process.

The Covid-19 lockdown has led to predictions it will spur law firms to review their office space with a view to reducing costs. In June, Dentons announced the closure of two of its UK offices — in Watford and Aberdeen — in a shift towards remote working when it revealed it would also be reviewing its London requirements when the lease on its UK headquarters expired in 2025.

In an update to its investors last month, listed UK law firm Ince signalled it would have the opportunity to make “significant” operational savings due to changes in working practices and the fact that that “the group's material long term property commitments all have an opportunity for a tenant's break within the next three years”.

Further reading

How Covid-19 is changing the European workplace

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