Knowles under pressure after DLA kept in dark over personal LawVest stake

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  • How very "Halliwells" of him......

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  • Why would you invest in a new venture without any right of veto/pre-emption before the addition of new investors? Very strange.

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  • WTAF? It's usually Stockholm syndrome with DLA partners and it's not like them to make a fuss. Where's this bravery come from?

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  • When individuals start investing in other businesses outside their own it raises all sorts of questions about ownership.
    The challenge for any partner investing in an ABS, be it their own or an external venture, is to manage potential conflict of interest. The best way is to be transparent and clear about level of external investment, or you risk uproar and may face some very uncomfortable questions.

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  • @Anonymous 10.27, you make a good point. How many law firms are applying for ABS? Are they prepared for the amount of transparency they'll have to show?

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  • hat the investment was made by Knowles and his cronies after the firm's investment was made and without openly declaring it smacks of dishonesty. These people are lawyers and cannot claim ignorance of the law or their obligations to their fellow partners under their partnership deed. Knowles should consider resigning as managing partner for so blatantly flouting his obligations.

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  • The investment by Knowles is a blatant disregard of an obvious conflict of interest. Failing to disclose it shows a lack of good faith in his dealings with his fellow partners. Time to step down. Knowles has always treated DLA as if it was his to do with as he chose fit and with disregard of, and little respect to, his fellow partners and/or their opinions. Every leader has had their day at some point and then its time to go. DLa should find itself a leader with integrity.

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  • Am I going to be the only one to make the obvious point that most of the DLA partners wouldn't even have a job if it wasn't for Nigel Knowles?

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  • Every law firm that has fallen behind DLA in the pecking order is desperate to wade in and give their views. Some of the big firms now looking over their shoulder are doing the same.
    It's mainly driven by jealousy. Nobody would be chipping in with their 2 cents if this was happening at a firm like Dickinson Dees.

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  • reminds me of Hammonds Direct
    Be careful what you wish for Nigel

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  • This episode, and the comments made about it, would appear to demonstrate (yet again) that some basic ethical understanding of one's duties to one's firm and one's partners needs to be incorporated into the continuing education program of senior lawyers.

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  • When LawVest launched to much fanfare a number of people said they wondered if the whole thing would blow up in everyone's faces. I didn't give the doubters much credence, but they were right.
    And it took exactly one week for it to happen....
    That was quick.

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  • One wonders who advised LawVest on its establishment/funding etc. Surely not DLA, one would hope.

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  • Time will tell if this was a sound idea - just poorly executed. However, just may be the investors consider their actions independent of the partnership. If that were the case where did the DLA 'association' come from?

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  • Very dodgy.

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  • Like HammondsDirect? Where is the gross miss-management, over charging of customers and failure to disclose payments to estate agents to name but a few of HD's errors.

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  • And who advised Karl Chapman that "the share register of LawVest is a confidential matter”?
    Surely not DLA? The register of members is open to inspection - Companies (Company Records) Regulations 2008.

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  • Tony Angel seeing his moment of opportunity to seize control?

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  • Did Tony A back the wrong horse and will he leave the partnership this week along with NIgel only time will tell.
    Who is sitting in the wings at DLA to take it to the next stage.
    The question is who runs DLA is it a few chosen partners who oversee billing machines/ team leaders/ junior partners call them what you want.
    Is this another Arthur Anderson moment !

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  • Law firms are full of moral midgets, this one just got caught.

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  • How funny ... Thatcher had her day, Blair had his day, Fred The Shred had his day and now Sir Nige looks as though he's had his. He will, as sure as whiffs follow certain former Halliwells' partners, have to resign and he will be remebered not as the man who created one of the world's greattest law firms but as someone who lost contact with reality and actually started to beleive his own BS! Sad really.

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  • There goes his knighthood. Lawyers know what's right and wrong so obfuscating things does not detract from what is bilindingly obvious. Sad way to end a career.

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  • In an ideal world Sir Nige would do the honourable thing. However, this is DLA and I doubt very much that he would have the gumption to be a bigger man.

    And there are plenty in the wings ready to take the firm forward in a more collegiate and open way.

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  • The larger law firms, even those not as large, have fairly specific conflict of interest and disclosure rules.
    Either DLA did not have such rules (which is a failure in risk management policy),
    or the master of the universe chose to ignore the rules.
    In any event, if this was not the master of the universe, he would have been out the door already, and it wouldn't be a mere demotion.
    As to the comment that many DLA partners would not have their jobs but for the master of the universe, how severe would the infraction have to be before Nigey would be jettisoned?
    Lets see if the board has any b***s.

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  • You can take a Northerner from the North......

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  • As in the manner of a GCSE Law Exam
    (1) "they expect that smaller DLA Piper clients will begin to use LawVest." (2 "he expressed shock that his action was being perceived as a conflict of interest." Reconcile these two statements. What do you understand by "conflict of interest? How should this have been managed? What reputational issues are involved here? Do not write on both sides of the paper at once.

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