BLG, Hill Dickinson, HBJ Gateley Wareing carve up the remains of Halliwells

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  • How nice that the partners who caused this are now sitting pretty in the new firms when 30+ staff made redundant at 5.00 p.m. yesterday with no notice pay, wages, holiday pay, redundancy etc! Not one of these partners attended the meeting! Lots more admin staff to follow.

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  • not to mention the trainees that got canned

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  • The partners dont have the backbone to attend such a meeting, in fact a jellyfish has more backbone than all of them put together!! Its a disgrace what has happened, hope they feel proud of what they havde achieved

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  • It'll be interesting to see if the SRA/Law Society step in to help the trainees.

    The way the 30+ staff were treated sounds horrific. The partners should be ashamed.

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  • This episode will do serious lasting damage to the creditworthiness of commercial law firms.

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  • Its shaming when those responsible are not prepared to face up to their actions. Common decency alone, says they should face their staff. There may be nothing that can be achieved but at least let them have their say.

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  • It seems that cash from the reverse premium was taken out the firm and the work has been moved on, leaving the landlord and the bank with the debts. The taxpayer will no doubt have to pay the staff redundancies. It's not an edifying spectacle.

    I suspect that the banks will be looking long and hard at their limited liability lawyer customers in future.

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  • Partners who treat staff like dirt? They'll fit right in at BLG!

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  • "This episode will do serious lasting damage to the creditworthiness of commercial law firms."
    Oh come on, like lawyers have a terrific reputation in the first place.
    As for credit worthiness, if you look at the PEP figures listed on this website you will see that most lawyers are hardly a bad financial risk.
    Halliwells was just a badly run firm with greedy partners. We all have them, it is how you manage them that counts.

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  • Great deal Gateleys (not!) Interesting they have signed up to a legacy Halliwells man running the Manc office. This is like leaving Dracula in charge of the blood bank. Naive in the extreme and a serious opportunity missed to assert some management control. The London office will also hardly be taking the market by storm..it should have been shut a long time ago and anyone good has left and its new recruits are frankly not very good.

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  • It happend before and it will happen again !! remember Shadbolt's ...sounds all so familiar

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  • I can reliably inform Mr Keynes that the guy in charge of Manchester is one of the good guys, the best guy for the job and someone the staff know well and trust. I've had the privilege of working with Mr Waldie and can say he's the one to guide the new firm through these difficult times. Not all the partners involved in this deal have dirty hands, some do, but not all.

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  • the trainees were axed via an email, that's the spirit!!!

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  • As a former Halliwells (London) partner I would like to point out to the ill-informed commentator of earlier that it makes perfect sense to appoint a universally respected and trusted former Halliwells partner not closely associated with the previous regime and that I have never heard anyone to have a bad word to say about Rod Waldie either inside or outside the firm.

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  • In amoungst the redundancies were two first-year London trainees. Along with the other members of staff who were let go, they were promised jobs at HBJ Gately Wearing. It says a lot about HBJ and those at the top of Halliwells who sealed the deal.

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  • re: Anon @ 5.28 "..a universally respected and trusted former Halliwells partner" - he will have to be something special: as is this not a contradiction in terms? I agree with Keynes, regardless of how good the guy is, this is a naive move and a fresh pair of eyes from completely outside the hubristic bubble that was Spinningfields would have sent the right message to the market.

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  • The ill informed and malicious comments here and elsewhere (yes you at Kennedys don't think it doesn't get back to us) is a sad indictment of a professional that espouses high ethical standards.

    As for the staff who received their notice, it must have been a grave upset but to say it was a shock is just silly. FFS they've been effectively on notice since 25 June, and while that's of scant comfort to present otherwise is less than honest.

    Considering the potential outcome I and many others are massively grateful to the long hours the partners (including those of the new firms) invested in securing this outcome and the dedication shown by colleagues in providing our clients with an exceptional service during what has been a very difficult time.

    I doubt that we'll be the last firm to find ourselves in the situation that we did and if others are similarly placed I will not be revelling in the misfortune of others.

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  • An ex colleague at Halliwells tells me that HD have taken all of the non-partner staff, including trainees, in Liverpool and Sheffield and honoured commitments made to those trainess due to qualify. Good on HD!

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  • As a trainee at HBJ I am worried that we are over-stretching - especially as they already pay well below the market salaries, so how can they afford this?

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  • isn't everyone forgetting that the "universally respected" Mr Waldie was one of the equity partners who voted to trouser the £16 million reverse premium ....

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  • Quite impressive that HBJ GW had the Halliwells partners up on their website yesterday morning but is Alec Craig not missing? Any news on his whereabouts or is he perhaps joining Heatons?

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  • Did Ian Austin or his "PR" people write this !!

    "The ill informed and malicious comments here and elsewhere (yes you at Kennedys don't think it doesn't get back to us) is a sad indictment of a professional that espouses high ethical standards.

    As for the staff who received their notice, it must have been a grave upset but to say it was a shock is just silly. FFS they've been effectively on notice since 25 June, and while that's of scant comfort to present otherwise is less than honest.

    Considering the potential outcome I and many others are massively grateful to the long hours the partners (including those of the new firms) invested in securing this outcome and the dedication shown by colleagues in providing our clients with an exceptional service during what has been a very difficult time.

    I doubt that we'll be the last firm to find ourselves in the situation that we did and if others are similarly placed I will not be revelling in the misfortune of others."

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  • When Shoosmiths withdrew training contracts or deferred trainees without compensation there was outrage and it was headline news. Now a similar situation has seemingly arisen following the sale of Halliwells yet barely a word has been written about it.

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  • Ian Austin's gone....come on now, catch up.

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  • What about the trainees that were set to join the firm. And so the stressful hunt for another tc begins for some.

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  • As a Manchester Future Trainee who has had their training contract withdrawn I am bitterly disappointed. I take little comfort from the fact my future colleagues have been taken on by HD, whilst me and great number of others are effectively out of the door with little more than an email.
    I am disgruntled that there has been no offer of support or advice from the Law Society and I question what exactly the £80 covers.
    This is a prime example of the failings in the current training system. I have invested a lot of time and money in getting to this stage and in Halliwells itself.
    On the whole, congratulations to those who have been successfully transferred, but it doesn’t make it any less of a bitter pill to swallow.

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  • Everytime some partner or firm is criticised for some perfidious behaviour, there's a post making out that they are bunch of saints. Do they get their mothers to do the posts?

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  • To "still there | 21-Jul-2010 9:33 pm" ... even when you know you might go, it's always a shock when it happens. Obviously redundancy has never happened to you but if it does you'll understand what I mean.

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  • It is interesting to note teh so called acquistions have been ring-fenced in new LLPs. Sadly this whole debacle was another opportunity missed to use a new business model. In the circumstances the 'new' partners have, in effect, been rewarded for previous failures of management and it is not a good look.

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  • Halliwells had a bash at bringing a claim of defamation against me on behalf of a public sector institution (won't say which).

    Without knowing anything about their finances, if they were as shoddy as the legal reasoning of the solicitor who issued a 9 page letter full of lies and threats to me, then the LLP was only ever going to end up in one place.

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  • There were mistakes
    I made a few
    the reverse premium
    a damn good screw
    I wrecked the firm
    I watched it burn
    I did it myyyy way

    We signed the lease
    the rent was high
    We thought the buildiing would make us fly
    We stuffed the bank
    The landlord too
    HMRC
    We stuck it to you
    The FSM`s
    We took their cash
    They bought the story
    They were so rash
    I stuffed the firm
    I watched it burn
    I did it myyyyyy wayyyyy

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