BDO demands return of cash from ex-Halliwells partners

  • Print
  • Comments (66)

Readers' comments (66)

  • response to Robert Shaw
    If you had lost money due to your employer going bust you would want to vent your frustration too and I daresay use this or any other forum which you found in which to do it.
    You should spare a thought for the former employees of Halliwells who were totally shafted by the Partners.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • To Robert Shaw (23/6 @ 4:46), I think that you are missing the point.
    The animosity comes from the activity, rather than the people involved. In previous cases (the Hogans Partner, Ince & Co Partner) defenders of them were defending their actions on the basis that they were "really nice" or "jolly good chaps".
    Frankly, it doesn't matter a damn what they were like socially or around the office; they nicked £1M and £1M+ (respectively) from their Partners (mates) / Staff / (potentially) clients.
    This is little different - it is at the "sharp" end of legal practise and whether it is illegal is yet to be seen.
    The profession should be improving its own PR by not engaging in these acts and therefore creating this disgust against the profession.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • It isn't just the equity partners involved in the £20m reverse premium that are being chased but fixed share partners too.
    One such ex-partner has just received a letter that has gone out to all such partners stating that he owes circa £70,000 and has to pay up pronto!
    This person knew nothing of the financial woes nor the £20m and the £70k is drawings which was just basic salary (ie not a bonus) so this person is being pursued for their salary over a certain time period.
    How is that fair?
    In all likelihood this could result in bancruptcy, not being able to practice and therefore no job. Aren't there about 100 or so fixed share partners who will be in the same position?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I have just looked at this page again and I despair at more anonymous posts. Having said that, I think the 5.07pm comment is fair in that it reflects my understanding. I believe it was a group of a dozen or so inner circle equity partners that took the money out of the firm and that the other partners knew nothing of it until after the firm went into insolvency. If that is true then it seems unfair to blame all partners.
    My concern is that there seems to be a lynch mob mentality to matters that none of us really understand and weren't party to. We are turning into tabloid journalists - all of us.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 24.06.11 at 5:07pm is bang on.
    A large group of FSMs were kept completely in the dark by the full members. They were not party to the reverse premium. They were not even told about it.They were strong-armed into making significantly increased capital contributions during 2009. When they raised questions about the state of the business before doing so, they were given highly misleading information. They were not partners in any real sense. Now, that group find themselves on the receiving end of demands for huge sums of money from administrators, founded on the basis of losses incurred by others without their knowledge. Something is very wrong here.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I suspect the reason for all the anonymous commentary is that a lot of the people (including me) have had prior experience in dealing with Austin et al. Remember we are talking about a law firm which once threatened to sue somebody for slander when a partner overheard two solicitors gossiping on a train. In some cases the lynch mob mentality is thoroughly justified. You claim you have no connection to Halliwells and I do hope you never have to deal with some of the less affable partners that wrecked the place. Do you not see an issue for serious alarm that Austin is now the Head of Audit at a public charity (Salford) with an annual income of £200m? What qualification does he possess to judge on issues of risk management or financial probity? This is nothing short of a public scandal.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Robert Shaw, I think you'll find that a lot of the people posting know a great deal of what went on. The website's called The Lawyer, so attracts many lawyers. Halliwells used to employ a lot of lawyers. The animosity comes from our familiarity with what went on - the greed, the dishonesty, the manipulation of people from junior partners to support staff and outside suppliers.
    The reason for anonymity is because we still have careers and want to be free to say what we like. By all means take the moral high ground if it makes you feel better but I doubt you'll get much credit from most of the people more directly involved.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I can feel the mob turning on me ! Seriously though, I don't defend the wrongdoing and I agree with those that want the miscreants brought to book. I have criticised those that post vitriol anonymously (not everyone) because it presents the profession in a bad light but I accept that greedily breaching fiduciary duties and duties of good is even worse. My starting point was, to pick up on the theme of some more recent posts, to suggest that criticism and censure should be directed at the few who are guilty rather than at anybody that was in the wrong place at the wrong time - if I understand what I have read, somewhere between 15-20 of the 100 odd partners took the reverse premium?
    I wonder how many of us would know if something like that was happening at our firms if it was being done behind closed doors.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 32 took the reverse premium.
    A dozen of those went to gateley waring and as part of the deal with the administrator they included the transfer of their overdrawn current accounts.
    These same people made representations as to the financial well being of Halliwells prior to strong arming the fsm's to contribute capital of 20k each.
    Those fsm's have now lost their capital and are being pursued by the administrators for 6 figure sums. The reverse premium crew are not being pursued for their overdrawn current accounts. This is an absolute disgrace. Those who wrecked the firm and lied to the fsm's are sitting pretty whilst hard working people who did not take the reverse premium are hammered.
    Very very wrong

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Lots of talk about the FSMs being legged over because they were told this or that or not told this or that. Would they advise a client to deal on that basis? How about checking the position themselves? They were presented, I suspect with an equivalent of 'take it or leave it' and they chose to take it. Tough life isnt't it....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

View results 10 per page | 20 per page | 50 per page |

Have your say

Mandatory Required Fields

Mandatory

Comments that are in breach or potential breach of our terms and conditions in particular clause 8, may not be published or, if published, may subsequently be taken down. In addition we may remove any comment where a complaint is made in respect of it. These actions are at our sole discretion.

  • Print
  • Comments (66)