Things have been looking more than a little rosy of late: law firms seem to be over their mass redundancy programmes, dealflow is making a tentative return and, if the recruitment pages of The Lawyer are anything to go by, the jobs market is beginning to wake from its year-long slumber.
But don’t go booking an evening in Annabel’s just yet. As we report today reveals, we’re still not out of the woods.
Whether or not we are out of recession is a moot point, but for 190-year-old Wirral law firm Lees Lloyd Whitley such positive news would be too late. The firm, which ceased trading last Friday, has gone into administration and it is estimated that creditors are owed in the region of £3m (see story).
LLW is not the first firm to face this fate. Back in January Leeds-based Fox Hayes went into administration a month after the departure of its commercial and private client teams for Lupton Fawcett (see story).
And remember Hextalls? In May the firm re-emerged from a prepacked administration, having refocused itself into a leaner insurance boutique (see story).
It doesn’t look like the LLW story will have quite the happy ending Hextalls’ did, with its partners already dispersed among firms across the north.
But at least Chester-based Oliver & Co, which has picked up LLW’s commercial team, and Wallasey-based David Roberts & Co, which has picked up its equity release business, should receive a boost from its demise.