ONE of Blackburn’s oldest law firms has called in administrators amid increasing pressures on the legal profession.

But the new bosses of the Richmond Terrace practice say all staff have been saved and clients should not notice any difference in their service.

Under managing director Robin Phoenix, the Roebucks outfit is understood to include four directors, three consultants and 10 solicitors, supported by legal executives and paralegals.

For their last filed accounts, up to the end of March 2018, the directors declined to provide a profit and loss account of their trading.

Bank loans and overdrafts of £537,687 were also listed as legal charges against two of their properties in Richmond Terrace, and the office car park off Morton Street, and their former offices in Cannon Street, Accrington.

As a result of the administration, the firm has been acquired by Manchester-based AWH, with all client files and funds transferring to the new entity.

Their Richmond Terrace HQ, in the heart of Blackburn’s legal community, are also being retained.

The announcement is the latest blow for Roebucks, after the head of their mental health department was jailed for two years in 2017 for faking medical reports.

Victoria Wadsworth was found to have siphoned off Legal Commission funds totalling £25,000 by commissioning ‘reports’ from a non-existent firm, Healthy Minds.

A Roebucks spokesman said: “The new firm will be known as AWH Legal t/a Roebucks

“We are pleased to let you know that all staff and fee earners will be transferring to AWH and can still be contacted on their contact telephone numbers.

“Roebucks contact details will remain the same and will continue to be based from their respective offices.”

Back in 2012 the firm opened a Clitheroe office and it merged with the Lee Rigby Partnership in 2017, to give the firm a presence in Leyland.

The firm, which covers a number of legal disciplines, can trace its history back to 1909, when it was established by Roger Oddie.

David Acland and Lila Thomas, of Manchester-based FRP Advisory, were appointed as joint administrators and they instructed Samantha Palmer and Jo Cream as joint solicitor managers, of Pinsent Masons, a city legal firm, for the case.

The Roebuck’s number remains the same - 01254 274000 - if clients have any concerns or queries.

The legal profession in East Lancashire has not seen the same level of upheaval since the demise of Steele, Ford and Newton closed its doors in Burnley in 2015.