Wednesday, 02 December 2015

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Cumbrian law firm moves out in landlord dispute

A Cumbrian law firm has closed its Workington office without warning.

KJ Commons office photo
Staff removing files and equipment from the offices

Staff at KJ Commons Solicitors moved out of their base on Upper Jane Street in Workington yesterday.

Managing director David Thompson said it was part of the firm’s long-term plan to move from the offices but admitted the change had been brought forward because of a dispute with the landlords.

Mr Thompson confirmed there had been an issue with bailiffs but said the firm had not been given notice to quit the building.

He denied rumours that bailiffs had visited the premises yesterday.

He added: “There’s no love lost between us and the landlords. We are just trying to protect the jobs of all the staff here and the clients’ interests so we have got all hands on deck to get things moved as quickly as possible.

“There have been some difficulties that we have had to face but we are confident that we have a bright future.”

Mr Thompson said about 20 people worked at the office.

The firm’s award-winning conveyancing team will join with law firm Taylor Rose Law, which was announced last month.

It will move to new premises on Murray Road.

The firm’s family and criminal law departments will move to new premises at Haig Enterprise Park in Whitehaven.

All calls to the firm’s Workington number are being temporarily rerouted to the Carlisle office.

The company was set up by Kevin Commons in 1987.

After Mr Commons was killed by gunman Derrick Bird in 2010, the firm became a limited company, with other staff joining Marcus Nickson as directors.

Last year Mr Nickson and fellow K J Commons solicitor Jonathan Dees left the firm to set up their own company, Nickson Dees, as clinical negligence consultants.

In January, the firm was again hit by tragedy when criminal law solicitor and director Tim Frost died of cancer. Mr Thompson said: “It’s been difficult but we’re going to get through it.”

The firm’s website lists its current directors as David Thompson, Lorraine Thompson and Craig Smith.

WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 13: In an article "Cumbrian law firm moves out in landlord dispute" published in the News & Star last Saturday, August 9, it was incorrectly stated that Ms Helen McNeil was a landlord of the Upper Jane Street, Workington, premises occupied by KJ Commons solicitors.
We are happy to clarify that Ms McNeil is not a landlord of the property and also that KJ Commons & Co was formed solely by the late Kevin Commons in 1987 - and not with a partner as reported. We apologise for the error.

The article above has been amended to reflect these points.


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