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Conveyancing firm plunges into administration

Conveyancing Firm Davenport Lyons Goes Into Administration

The prominent London based conveyancing firm, Davenport Lyons, has gone into administration. The firm is now being acquired by the Mayfair based Gordon Dadds. Only a month ago, Davenport’s CEO, Richard Williams, had appeared quite confident and aggressive as he had insisted that the firm is not going into administration any time soon.

“The only reason we’d go into administration is if it was planned as part of a deal with a much larger firm,” Williams had told The Lawyer.

Dadds has now confirmed that it has taken on the majority of the assets of Davenport, its client data, and has secured almost all its partners. A spokesperson from Davenport Lyons announced that Gordon Dadds has entered into an
arrangement with Davenport, to allow them to continue taking care of their existing clients and for many of the existing staff to join the acquiring firm.

Gordon Dadds will now be collecting all debtor balances on behalf of the administrator. Work in progress files and client data have already been transferred.

In the last two years, the revenues of Davenport had fallen by 11% – £ 21.9 million in 2012-13 from its earlier £ 24.5 million. Average profit per equity partner also dropped by 12.5% last year.

It is unusual that the influential Davenport Lyons has ended up being acquired by a firm which is only about half its size. Market sources say that a deal like this, which is almost like a reverse takeover, is the first in the legal market setting.

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