Categories:Real Estate,UK

Conveyancing slump claims Hammonds Direct, Walker Morris appointed

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  • Hammonds Direct

    A lesson to other law firm management teams who think it is a good idea to sell and lease-back their previously owned office space in order to enhance “profits” - and then sub-let to a boom and bust business. Icing on the cake is to cause more brand damage by allowing the other business to retain a common name.

    Perhaps the firm could make up some of the financial shortfall via a book which considers the actions of the previous “management”. How about “How not to run a professional services firm”. It could be the next best thing to going on the Harvard course. If he steers the firm through this one, Crossley should get next year’s solicitor’s knighthood.

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  • Hammonds Direct

    Pie Eater clearly didnt read the article since Crossley is not the one who has to steer the firm through this given Hammonds aren't really effected but Hammonds Direct. He would of known this had he read the article properly.

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  • Hammonds Direct

    Anonymous, I hope you are not a lawyer - You should criticise only if you are completely sure you are right. Pie Eater did read the article as evidently you did not (3rd paragraph!). The point is that Hammonds is directly affected if, as appears to be the case, 1, a company sharing its name is in financial difficulties and, more importantly, 2, since Hammonds will have to pay the rent on Bradford and it looks like its tenant is unlikely to be paying it (the unfortunate consequence of a sale and lease-back). Not much call for quality office space in Bradford, so Hammonds risks paying rent on a void. If the gap is truly £2-3m then this is a massive hit.

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  • Hammondsdirect

    Hammondsdirect have gone down because of their management mistakes. I used to work with them as a Team Leader. They didnt have no structure of audits etc. People just used to get away doing nothing. This one I can gaurantee went down because of over hiring, high salaries and miss management

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  • Hammonds - Greed will imprison us all

    This is what happens when a profession forgets it is a profession and focusses its eye on the bottom line instead of the future of the profession as a whole. A profession values experience, nurtures the growth and development of talent and operates to the highest professional standards - what we are seeing are managing partners looking to turn cheap labour into huge profits. We are seeing the Age Discrimination Act being twisted into a mandate not to pay for experience and as a justification for a call centre model of monkeys employed in the myopic belief that the complete works of Shakespeare will emerge; and professionally qualified personnel being subjected to expectations better suited to double glazing salesmen than qualified vocational experts (with the professional legal adviser being demonised as the ineffectual "Good Old Gill" parodied on The Simpsons).

    If the markets didn't get Hammonds Direct clients' awakening to the need for a return to a professional model would have done for it just as violently. Solicitors are not poultry to be battery farmed to death by those who set standards they could not meet themselves. We are a profession, and the sooner we get that the brighter the future of lawyers will be!

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  • Mirza Baigs comments

    Maybe you have not been watching the news lately but we are in recession - thus lending criteria has tightened - this is why its called a credit crunch. Thus a lot of the firms whose major area of business is residential conveyaincg are either making redundancies or are in the same situation as HammondsDirect Solicitors. It takes a good management base to run a firm able to churn out £14m turnover. The FIrm has really supported its staff by keeping them aware of the situtation & by supporting us in finding alternative work. Maybe you didnt have a good experience here - but may be you have issues. You are overgeneralising. Finally Thank you for leaving the Firm and the correct spelling of the word is mismanagement.

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  • Greed HAS imprisoned them

    A business like Hammondsdirect would have had many suitors over the last few years when profits and activity levels were high and getting higher. One must wonder whether all such offers were disclosed to the partners, properly considered and rejected. If not, company's management may not be sitting so cosily...

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  • Hamonds Direct

    I used to work there. The people in the call centre, post room and legal teams were nice but the Management was horrible. I am sad for the Fee Earners and all other support staff but not for the Management. I could not believe that some of the them were not even solicitors or lawyers and most did not have any conveyancing knowledge at all. They thought that selling cheap battery farm conveyancing to the public would make them invincible but all they did was damaged conveyancing firms in this country. I am sure many high street conveyancing practices are happy if they fold.

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  • Boom & Bust?

    As a solicitor dealing mostly in the residential property field, I have had the dubious pleasure over the years of dealing with 'conveyancing farms' such as this. I am really sad for those staff that have lost their jobs, though let this be a lesson for those practices that demote conveyancing to the lowest possible level, utilising unqualified staff operating tick box conveyancing. Will they learn and take heed? Yes for now, as it will hit them extremely hard in their pockets, but when we return to the boom times as we will one day, the spectre of these farms will again loom large.

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  • Mismanagement pays off!

    I used to work in Hammonds Direct India Office. They shoved non-lawyers to deal with the Conveyancing work and were responsible for a lot of mess with the Indian Manager being invovled in all sort of dirty politics being played with the Fee Earners. I agree with The Diva completely. All they were concerned is about celebrations and parties, rather than work and sustainability. PWC had also messed up with their accounts I believe. Hope, HammondsDirect learns their lesson the hard way!

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