Smith & Williamson in consultation to close a London office

Smith & Williamson has announced a consultation with staff as to whether
or not the North London office will remain open. A closure could result in
redundancies, according to the firm, though it remains unclear how many.

The top ten accountancy firm has said senior staff suggested that the lease,
which is due to expire later this year, should not be renewed.

Gareth Pearce, chairman of Smith & Williamson, said: ‘Local management
said a couple of months ago that we should look at an alternative.’

‘On the face of it, it doesn’t make sense to continue using that office’ he
added senior members had said.

‘The nature of business in the north London office has changed and is now
orientated towards the London (Moorgate) office’ Pearce added.

Pearce said that senior partners have been spending more time in its Moorgate
office and the decision to close the north London office is a long term issue
and unconnected with the current economic climate.

Pearce confirmed that if the office did not renew its lease in August this
year there would be some redundancies among the 100 staff based at the premises.

Smith & Williamson was ranked 8th in the last Accountancy Age Top 50
survey with a fee income of £170.7m. Pearce said that if a closure does go ahead
it would make an announcement in March.

Staff are currently in a consultation process as to whether or not the office
should close, with their first task to appoint a representative. No individuals
have been placed on consultation for redundancy as yet.

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