Cobbetts' path to administration

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  • Big Mouth. Small Stomach.

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  • I also feel for the trainee Solicitors, not a nice feeling. I am an aspiring lawyer and this news is going to put many law student in fear of what direction to take.

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  • It is very worrying. There are a number of firms out there with a higher ratio of lending to turnover than Cobbetts including the firm I resigned from as an equity partner not so long ago in Yorkshire. It does show that there is considerable risk in high growth strategies supported by too much debt.

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  • Sad for those involved, despite having been on the cards for ages. Sign of the times. Aspiring lawyer : set your sights on either a seriously big ticket firm and be ready to trade away most of the hours of your life for decent pay and reasonable security, or a big player at the bottom end of the market and accept you'll never be paid as much. Your choice. by the time you qualify most of the middle ground will have gone one of those ways.

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  • This timeline seems to miss many, even, of the Lawyer's articles which may be more relevant to the story than some of the above.
    Suing a client over an unpaid bill? Disposing of an associate? Courting a Saudi lawyer as a potential source of work?
    These seem unlikely causal factors along the 'path to administration'.

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  • Mohammed Ali @ 5.33 - it shouldn't put you in fear of what direction to take, it should tell you what direction to take - another one, any one.

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  • I feel for those who have just joined the firm. Taking on NQ's a month is not only unfair on the NQ but also suggest a lot of partners may have been burying their heads in the sand.

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  • I don't know what happens to trainees but they must be better off than the well qualified applicants who have not been able to get training contracts in the first place.

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  • £45M turnover, £323,000 PEP, results "on track" and hiring lawyers a few weeks ago. An interesting example of how a firm that looks fine can still run out of money.

    This should be a warning for other firms. Financial management is not just reporting last months billing - it is looking forward, understanding future cash flows, securing funding. It requires focusing on profitability, dealing with underperformance. Finance is an actual skill - especially in these times. Because before you know it the firm is out of money - and then it is game over.

    Sad for those involved and I wish everyone the best !

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  • Worked for them for years before being made redundant 2008. Fantastic firm to work for until someone became too greedy. Should never have left Ship Canal House.

    It was the beginning of the end for Cobbetts. Sadly the people at fault won't lose out, but some very faithful and loyal employees will.

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  • I used to work for Manchester Cobetts and it was the worst place to work. I was bullied out of my position and forced to resign so quite frankly I am chuffed at this news. They deserve everything they get.

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  • I know this sounds horrible because hundreds of people will be losing their jobs but Cobetts deserves this. They are made up of a nasty bunch of people who bully the new employees and despite working my ass off my boss was terrible to me. She bullied me and broke me down till I became suicidal. Human resources at Cobetts are biased and useless. Good riddence to this place. Hope it all goes under!

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  • Having gone through this at Halliwells, I feel extremely sorry for all those employees who now face a very uncertain future. It is a deeply unpleasant experience and I wish everyone the best.

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  • Ohh, some quite vitriolic comments on here! There are always a few bad eggs at any firm (and I think I know who you're referring to) but on the whole it's a great bunch of people. It improved at the top when Nick took over. Just because this happened on his watch, noone should think this was his fault. And yes, I do work at Cobbetts and not in PR.

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  • Anon 10:41am is entirely correct.
    You cannot generalise about Cobbetts based upon 1 or 2 people you may not have liked. I worked there for 4 years until leaving recently (for very particular reasons and not because of any of my colleagues - who were all lovely people). Nick Carr is a thoroughly decent and highly skilled lawyer and manager. He and his colleagues deserve better than this but they have clearly come up against impossible obstacles which are the legacy of the failings of others.
    The vast majority of the staff and leaders at Cobbetts are great people with their hearts firmly in the right place. Anyone who suggests otherwise is flat wrong.
    Best of luck to everyone.

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  • why are they are in admin
    45m turnover, 10m borrowing
    have the banks just got uptight because their borrowing is 20 percent of turnover?

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  • I also worked at Cobbetts but don't now. There are some good people there but the senior management team got it so wrong. Bullying behaviour and driven self interest were allowed to go unchecked. There was no management of seriously poor behaviour by those in senior positions. Hopefully DWF will be able to work out who the diamonds are and jettison the fakes.

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  • Sadly for them its been a badly run outfit for many years and many saw the writing on the wall and left, resulting in them losing much needed turnover. Their position is exacerbated by too many partners producing insufficient fee income and yet on inflated profit shares usually because they stayed close to Michael Shaw.

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  • All non-lawyer minds surely boggle at a lawyer firm going down the drain after applying the usual extortionate hourly charge-out rates, aggravated by those six minute units.
    Candid answers will be welcome (please).

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