Business

Coast's biggest law firm up in the air as founder departs

THE Sunshine Coast's largest law firm appears to be in trouble with one of its founding partners, Travis Schultz, preparing to leave.

Schultz Toomey O'Brien (STO Law), was bought out by Slater and Gordon in November 2014 for nearly $20 million, but Mr Schultz stayed on as "special counsel".

He was not available for comment, but sources close to him said the highly-regarded lawyer would be leaving the firm he founded in 1988 at the end of March.

It is unclear if Mr Schultz's departure has anything to do with Slater and Gordon's financial strife.

It was reported in February last year the world's first "legal law firm" was struggling after slumping to nearly a $1 billion loss.

Travis Schultz
Travis Schultz

The problems were ascribed to the firm's $1.3 billion acquisition of the professional services division of UK firm, Quindell, in March 2015.

It emerged in the Sydney Morning Herald yesterday (February 16) the firm had pitched a life-saving debt for deal equity swap to its bankers that was expected to see investors wiped out.

Investors had already began dumping shares in the company last week.

But the impact of the financial woes hadn't appeared to be taken any toll on the Sunshine Coast firm, yet.

A reliable source said Slater and Gordon was in "real strife" but STO Law was "financially sound and operating as normal".

"If Slater and Gordon collapses, STO Law wouldn't collapse, but it might be once again be for sale," the source said.

The question would be whether its founder, Mr Schultz would be in a position to buy it?

A Slater and Gordon spokeswoman said: "Slater and Gordon's current discussions with its lenders have no impact on the current day to day running of the business including the Sunshine Coast office."

Topics:  slater and gordon



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