Explosive allegations surface in Halliwells court case

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  • Have the administrators reported this to the SRA?
    If not, why not.

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  • And still the SRA remain silent...

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  • Oh dear!!!
    Explosive indeed. The lid has finally been blown off.
    Now that allegations of this nature have been aired in open court the likelihood of an SRA investigation must be very high.
    What the scope of any investigation would be is a very interesting question given the serious allegations that have been made in relation to Halliwells, including in the comments section of this website. It would be a fascinating but difficult task I suspect!
    Interesting questions too for Addleshaws' compliance people - presumably any information they hold on these allegations will be passed to the SRA, notwithstanding that it might not be in the interests of the liquidators to do so.... and what about the mediation, is that really an appropriate forum for hearing a case when in related proceedings the court has heard very serious allegations about the conduct of solicitors, who are officers of the court...? Surely these issues should be dealt with in open court, with the SRA in attendance as an interested party?
    Lots to chew on.
    Would be great if the Lawyer could now follow up its interview with Ian Austin....

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  • No doubt, this is all just some misfortunate misunderstanding. The happy news is that the metadata (or electronic fingerprints) of the document will show when it was first created, when and how it was subsequently altered and, in each case, by whom. This can then be cross-checked against the email trail.
    Tick, tick, tick...

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  • But are the allegations actually true?

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  • Who altered the minutes? Which partners in particular are alleged to have altered the minutes? Were the minutes actually altered or merely redacted. the former is probably more culpable than the latter although both involve an attempt to deceive ones colleagues and mark a level of dishonesty not tolerable in lawyers? These are questions of great public concern as many of the partners have gone on to other positions, some now hold public office, and if it is the case that particular partners altered the minutes the question arises as to thier fitness to hold public office and/or continue as solicitors. There must also be concern for those partners who were not party to altering the minutes and are being tarred by the same brush. It is in the interests of all concerned that the guilty parties be named.

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  • What exactly do you have to do before the SRA steps in? Torture kittens? Human sacrifice?

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  • Given that one of the former partners tarred with these allegations is president of the chamber of commerce in Sheffield it is high time that the person concerned step down until she clears her name - if that is possible.

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  • If someone - our former partners, BDO, Deloittes (the firm's and our own personal tax accountants), Dow Schofield Watts and any one else who entered into an engagement letter with Halliwells LLP and provided advice - would care to disclose to us the actual state of affairs and their actual advice to our late-lamented managing partners, it would be very helpful. Instead, we see allegations of equitable fraud playing out across a court room, are refused access to our papers and are threatened by BDO.

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  • Was not John Lord an equity partner at Halliwells until late 2010 ?

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  • Yes he was an equity partner, although not sure when he left.

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  • Ian Austin was managing partner at the time so I guess you start the investigation by speaking to him

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  • I wonder what the senior partners of Gateley, Clyde & Co and Hill Dicks make this accusation.... and I gather that other serious allegations were made in court yesterday... no doubt the Lawyer will confirm...
    I wonder what those former Halliwells staff, salaried and fixed share partners who are still working with Halliwells equity partners make of all this.....

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  • @ Boy Wonder, 4.39pm
    Don't forget the other firms where the Spinningfields defendants now practice. How about a comment from Kennedys on their Sheffield office head and former businesswoman of the year?
    Would that sort of business acumen get past week 1 of The Apprentice?

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  • what i want to know is what was the FD doing all this time, he's supposed to control the finances!

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  • I am appalled by this case, it brings both the profession and BDO into complete disrepute if so much as a sniff of this is true. What particularly upsets solicitors from other firms in Sheffield is Ms Liversidge continuing to represent the Chamber of Commerce in the city. It is about time she was asked to step down.

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  • I recall the FD was alleged in a previous article of receiving a substantial sum from the reverse premium? £500k or something?

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  • There is something of the African Savannah about this - just when you thought the carcas of the wilderbeast was still and lifeless, a lion-chewed ear,a maggot-infested spleen or a cockroach-inhabited scrotum twitches -please, please, please, let this saga conclude so that we can move onto "Halliwells the Movie"
    The Ghost of St James (Court)

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  • The SRA must be getting twitchy about this. It can't be long before someone starts making comparisons between this matter, and what would have happened if it had been some little BME practice.

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  • This was not a two partner firm and the ex partners have loadsamoney. Consequently, do not expect any actions by the SRA. They can't attack people who might make it to the ECHR before being bankrupted.

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  • A little bird tells me BDO have lost...
    Not a great few days for Dermot or AG, but their strategy has been unfortunate in many respects,
    The narrow basis of this claim was defeated by the terms of the retirement deed, despite desperate attempts to make allegations in court at the last minute -I hear that other serious allegations were made in court which have not yet been reported - when these should have been made previously in the proceedings (to answer the earlier posters, one would assume that AG have now notified the SRA if their counsel is referring to these matters in open court and that the SRA will now be forced to take some action).
    A bigger issue is that rather than pursuing the potential raft of claims that were available to BDO against various of the EPs with the co-operation of many ex-FSPs, they have chosen to only pursue the EPs on Spinningfields (and to threaten to reclaim EP drawings) and to alienate the ex-FSPs by threatening to try to reclaim FSP drawings, when their input could have been very useful to the case against those actually responsible for the appalling Halliwells fiasco.
    BDO having made these explosive allegations is helpful to the ex-FSPs in terms of knowing that there is potentially material wthin BDO and AG's control which could be used to mount a defence or counterclaim to any drawings claim against them and indeed to bring claims against the EPs.
    Not a good result for Dermot or the creditors (just the hearing will have been very espensive)... the big winners would appear to be Mr Burns and any other EPs (and indeed FSPs) who have robust retirement deeds, and to a lesser extent the FSPs generally.
    I expect this sorry saga still has some twists and turns in it...

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  • Did he not also (yawn yawn) give his life to that firm?

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