Cobbetts seeks buyer as administrators are called in

  • Print
  • Comments (70)

Readers' comments (70)

  • A nice bargain for someone looking to bulk up.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Farewell Cobbetts! Who is next?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This should lead to an automatic 10 point deduction in the Legal 200 rankings.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • what is it with Manchester?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Such a shame! These are indeed perilous times. I hope things can be sorted so that there is no loss to clients.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Zombie firm bites the dust!

    Whilst few will meet this with the warm glow of schadenfreude which greeted the demise of Halliwells, my experience is that whilst the firm had some good people, it also had more than its fair share of dull, uninspiring plodders - and in this market that is not going to be enough to see you prosper.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well they did have a vast opulent new building - ring any bells?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How do you get from December's expectation to meet financial targets by year-end. to calling in the Administrators in January ??
    Mind boggling!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • If a firm the size of Cobbetts are in trouble, it just shows you the state of the marketplace for legal services!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Obviously more to this than difficult market conditions given that their results seem on track. Presumably some debts have either been called in or maybe they are facing a large defection?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Wont be holding my breath on that job application I filled in then...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @ 1:44

    It's the same level of hard hitting, probing, inquisative journalism which brought you the 6 page Eversheds CEO interview which failed to uncover the prospect of the 160+ redundancies which were announced the day after publication.

    None of that regugitation of press releases and PR blarney here, thank you very much!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous @ 1:41 pm. I hope that you are never placed in the position that the staff at Cobbetts now find themselves in. Shame on you.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I feel sorry for their future trainees. All that work to secure a TC and then poof its gone!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • >>average profit per equity partner was £323,000 << followed a short while later by ooops, we can't pay our creditors? Am not an insolvency lawyer but how does that work then?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Another national firm in the "squeezed middle" - losing out on mid-tier work to cheaper operators and unable to compete with City firms on high-end work. Watch this space for more mid-tier nationals...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Very Sad - I worked with Nick during my articles. Excellent Lawyer and nice genuine guy.

    I fully expect that the cream like Nick & Andrew Flounders will get snapped up very quickly.

    Very worrying signal.

    Anonymous | 30-Jan-2013 1:41 pm - I assume you are an ex-employee and/or work for a competitor. Your comments are not appreciated

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • LOL, anyone else wondering whether Anonymous@1.41 was once rejected by Cobbetts by any chance!?!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Without going into the rights and wrongs and pointing fingers, sadly this isn’t the first or last we have seen or will see of this. Small comfort it may be for those affected, we are seeing a few shoots of optimism in the market and increased investment in recruitment among our clients. The key is to act fast.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So sad.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anyone have the suspicion that this is exactly what DWF want...to get the best bits out of admin from Cobbetts at a snip and leaving all the creditor behind with a haircut. One wonders how many domino's DWF can eat before it falls over and implodes....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So is there any point in my completing my application? What if a buyer is found?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I was very sorry to read this. I'd had a few commercial property transactions on with them over the years, and always found them very good to deal with. It's sad when the solid firms go.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I wonder if HMRC are going to get paid tomorrow? Any partners with a tax reserve (used no doubt by Cobbetts for working capital) can always file their tax return on a net (cash received) basis if not.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Another firm of wideboy Mancs bites the dust.

    Amazing The Lawyer hasnt spotted that the firm has filed today and is supposed to pay the partners' tax bills tomorrow - a connection in there maybe??

    I wonder if Mike Shaw has already been repaid his capital...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cash crisis - looming tax liability innit. Somebody in charge of finance has prob messed up.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Awful news for all the staff involved. The 50-75 market is so tight at the moment. There's almost no profit and lots of these firms bought fancy offices in the good times.
    Suspect that Bond Dickinson will take the majority of the Cobbetts staff. They seem to be most similar law firm hiring and opening big new offices at the moment.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ratio of 2.5 support to 1 lawyer seems unreasonably high. Suspect a buyer will make a deal to buy the lawyers and shed the support - something any tupe arrangement might have restricted.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So much for them being 'futureproof'

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So, who is going to be next? Roll up for the runners and riders.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anonymous | 30-Jan-2013 2:27 pm
    So is there any point in my completing my application? What if a buyer is found?
    None whatsoever. Who is going to read your application anyway? All the HR team will be spending the afternoon filling out job applications of their own.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Really sad news - thoughts are with all the staff. It is deeply worrying to see a decent firm like Cobbetts go under.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Well all the fretting about my vacation scheme application not being good enough (I was still working on it right up to the deadline in 6-7 hours to get it just right) seems pointless now.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is sad news for a very good firm with some excellent lawyers from junior level up to partner. As an ex-employee, all the best to everyone there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Anon 4.16... if I had to take a punt I'd bet on serious trouble ahead for the firms around Cobbetts in the UK Rankings. These are the firms that either, lacked the quality to successfully compete with the DWFs and Addleshaws of this world, or who had to take big risks to climb from obscurity.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @4.33pm

    What he/she said.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @4.33pm ditto, long term the people involved should be fine but must be horrendous at the moment, they trained me well and were a decent firm, not sure which wideboys are being referred to, there are always one or two in a firm but generally Cobbetts had class

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As another Cobbetts ex-employee, my thoughts go out to my friends left there now. I met some excellent people there and there was fine work to be had. Really enjoyed working there and left with no bad blood whatsoever.
    Let's hope that the employees are properly looked after in the transfer of the business to whichever law firm snaps it up.
    All the best, my friends.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This is capitalism gone mad. Partners take out over 300k don't pay their tax and workers all lose their jobs. What difference between this and a Ponzi scheme?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A sad day and this is a sign on just how difficult the last few months have been for firms up and down the country.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • What terrible news. A bad day for all employees, especially trainees.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Having managed to escape Cobbetts several years ago I am surprised it has managed to survive so long. It was incredibly badly managed by dull uninspiring 2nd rate wannabee under achievers. I remember sitting in a partners meeting during which a Manchester Cobbetts partner was exhorting a double in turnover for the Birmingham office with no thought as to how this was going to be achieved other than putting bums on seats. This was so typical of Cobbetts divisive and incompetent management.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Good but expensive building, mid-ranking firm, lack of strategic direction etc etc - I hate to say it but there are firms such as Lawrence Graham who may go the same way.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @5.34
    There is enough quality in that firm that most people transferring should be less worried about fallout than the incumbents of the successor firm.
    Hopefully a deal won't be stitched up by the same small group of time servers who looked at their pension pots a few years ago and decided it wasn't quite time to go yet, losing a lot of talent and ambition in the lower ranks in the process, to protect a couple more years of earnings. Or so I hear...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Sad for those involved but amazed that it has come as a surprise to some as Cobbetts collapse has been on the cards for years, just a matter of when. Lots of decent lawyers there, so the surprise really should be why more didnt jump ship sooner. Makes you wonder what the internal spin machine was doing..

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I spent a number of years at Cobbetts and the people there were first class. The firm had a number of successes and if it had not been for the expensive offices the firm would blossom. All the best to the people there, I hope somebody comes in quickly to take you on.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Poor old Michael Shaw - that photo gets wheeled out any time Cobbetts is in the press. He looks positively demonic!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A buyer? Really?

    What would they get? Surely the best lawyers will now be cherry picked by the big firms with the remainder going to struggling mid-tier practices.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe the timing was right to avoid a significant tax payment that is due on 31 jan? TIming is everything!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Cobbetts is a great firm full of great people that have now fallen on hard times, and they're far from alone in a hostile market. Nick Carr in particular is a class act and deserves a better legacy - anyone making fun of the situation should remember that the careers of a lot of very talented lawyers have just become way more uncertain. Sarcastic comments are in bad taste here - just because the market conditions haven't affected you yet doesn't give you the right to laugh at those less fortunate; bad decisions may have been made but I've seen far worse.

    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 (70)