DWF acquires ailing Cobbetts in pre-pack deal

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  • DWF to the rescue!

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  • Good on you, Andrew.
    DWF will have to sift and restructure but this has to be greeted as good news.

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  • I'm starting to get the feeling that this entire administration, pre-pack and now rescue merger had all been orchestrated by the management of Cobbetts and DWF.
    Perhaps this avoids a big tax bill or other liability? Or allows DWF to chuck out the partners/staff/offices it didn't want the first time the merger was mooted? Who knows, but this was all a little too well organised and neatly done to be a series of accidents. Smart move perhaps for the partners who put this one together.

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  • Everybody cheered ...

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  • This looks like the best possible outcome in a difficult situation. I think staff at both firms should be pleased.

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  • I'm interested in buying Cobbetts. Who do I speak to? Where is the proposal? Why is this a one horse race and when did the horse begin running?

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  • DWF see Cobbetts books as part of earlier merger discussions / due diligence, DWF decide they can get a better deal by buying it out of the admin.
    Hill Dickinson and Halliwells a similar story.
    Obviously the new model for the acquisition of highly geared law firms.
    I am pleased for the employees of Cobbetts that they have been offered a lifeline, albeit it may be a temporary one. But let's not pretend that DWF are a knight in shining armour in all of this.

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  • Pre-pack more like pre-planned. This must be a relief for the staff but 2 into 1 doesn't always go. It will be interesting to see how the fall out from this unwinds. As ever there will be winners and losers. There will be people who don't like the look of DWF and vice versa. Hopefully DWF will have the sense to get rid of the senior under achievers and management.

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  • What is the pension position?
    With LLPs you get to the stage where the people who bear the insolvency risk are the employees with pension rights. The partners have LLP protection and limited exposure to bank debt and should be able to secure fresh jobs. The long serving staff suffer.

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  • Whoopiedoo! How noble and unselfish of DWF and what a fortunate coincidence they were there to help their poor unfortunate rivals in their time of need. I think Andrew Leaitherland deserves a knighthood being such a charitable generous chap and so unlike the unprincipled sharks that inhabit the depths of the legal world. No doubt all the grateful employees of Cobbetts will move over to DWF and live happily ever after in the certain knowledge that their jobs will now be secure. Marvellous. A good news story in times of austerity. We bow down to you Mr Leaitherland. If only there were more lawyers out there with a heart!

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  • Looking at the comments, not many people know what Pre-pack means.

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  • Cobbetts didn't go under because of DWF though. DWF weren't responsible for Cobbetts failing finances. If the deal wasn't right for DWF in 2012 they were entirely within their rights to pull out.
    The fact is that with DWF coming in and buying Cobbetts now they ARE saving people's jobs. Well done to them!

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  • This seems to have all been set up a year ago when they called off the merger due to "difficult trading conditions" or what ever it was.....i bet that they worked out it was in both parties interests to do it as a pre-pack because Cobbetts had too much baggage

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  • How unwise of DWF.

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  • The Legal Detective - straight out of the Inspector Clouseau school of legal detection. A few people want to read their copies of "Insolvency Law for Dummies" before posting.

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  • For all those who are suggesting that this is good for the staff have forgotten that the support functions are unlikely to be fully integrated into offices where that function is more or less fully occupied. So whilst senior staff and profitable teams will be welcomed with open arms, spare a thought for those who are surplus to requirement.

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  • What goes around comes around. Redundancies probable, no-one's recession-proof.

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  • Andrew LEGENDLAD more like.

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  • What will this mean for (former) prospective trainees of Cobbetts?

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  • I remember a (senior) Cobbetts partner curiously enquiring (at the time they 'equitised' their whole partnership) whether the CA2006 directors' duties to act in the best interests of a company 'for its members as a whole' would apply to the management of an LLP. Naively, I thought it was a strange question to ask, at the time...

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