​Challinors’ refugees spread across 14 firms

Lawyers from defunct Challinors have been scattered across 14 practices around the country, including Weightmans, as the Midlands firm sank into the death throes of administration last week. 

With the dust settling on the disposal of the practice, insolvency specialists RSM Tenon confirmed that 11 more firms scooped up solicitors in addition to the four reported earlier that had purchased files and work in progress. 

It is also understood that all the firm’s 14 partners have taken positions with other practices, but the administrators did not provide details. 

Weightmans became the latest top 100 firm to acquire a team from Challinors, launching a family law team in Birmingham with the Midlands firm’s family law head Fiona O’Sullivan. O’Sullivan joins Weightmans as a consultant and has brought two lawyers and one member of support staff with her.

Weightmans also benefitted from the collapse of Scottish firm Semple Fraser earlier this year, enlarging its Manchester office and launching in Glasgow with teams from the firm (11 March 2013).

Last week Shoosmiths (23 August 2013), and Cartwright King and Clarke Willmott (22 August 2013) became the first to confirm they had acquired teams from Challinors. Shoosmiths picked up eight lawyers including Challinors’ head of clinical negligence Richard Bannister. Cartwright King took five lawyers and one legal executive for its family team, and Clarke Wilmott scooped five solicitors and three unqualified staff for its Birmingham private client and litigation teams.

Lawyers also went to Birmingham family law specialists Blair Allison, Bradford sole principal firm Carter Fox, Stafford-based Frisby & Co, Leicester family and immigration specialists Greyfriars, Leicester firm JBR Morgan, County Durham-based Kenneth M Barrow, Northamptonshire’s Mann & Co, Midlands outfits Riley Hayes & Co and Sydney Mitchell and three-office Kidderminster firm Thursfields. 

The first firm to purchase a slice of Challinors was Liverpool’s SGI Legal, which picked up the bust firm’s personal injury clients (20 August 2013).