Categories:North West

Halliwells’ ex-managing partner: ‘I gave my life to that practice’

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  • And now the landlord CSAM is thinking of suing and has instructed Eversheds to look at a potential claim....
    From their perspective it has to be worth a punt. I'm sure litigators will be champing at the bit to get stuck into Austin, Craig et al and only too happy to agree a decent deal on fees to land such a juicy case... they'll be fighting over who gets to work on this one at Eversheds...
    I fear this saga, like this comments thread, is going to run and run and run....

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  • It appears that the ex-Halliwells partners have adopted a three stage response strategy:-

    1. Form a circular firing squad;
    2. Err..; and
    3. Whistle dixie.

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  • Just when you think it can't get any worse for Austin he gets hit again. The Salford guys are still asking questions and won't go away and now he has the shed picking over his deeds. You reap what you sow!

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  • Salford still have him listed as Chair of Audit

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  • The email about the time to pay scheme which Legal Business refers to seems to sink Austin. I for one shall be reporting him to the SRA.

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  • Legal Business want £50 for a single issue - I'm interested but not THAT interested.

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  • A very interesting read. Unfortunately Austin did not respond when Legal Business asked him to comment. Perhaps he has learnt his lesson or perhaps his new partners have told him not to embarass himself or them by coming out with more socks off tripe. He has "put a sock in it" and lost his shirt!

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  • So what would happen if the Spinningfields deal was found to be a breach of trust? Could it be unwound? Would that give the FSMs a tracing action against the FMs? How would that affect the bank's lending? And the personal practice loans?

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  • Ah Ian Austin....why am i not surprised. We are talking about the man who was asked by costs draftsmen why he was trying to recover the cost of buying a client a wedding present together with the interest for the whole balance of his barlcaycard that month!!
    Seems his fraudulent ways of shafting his clients over ten years ago were cultivated and made to flourish.

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  • Does anybody know whether the SRA is looking at this guy? The story in Legal Business around the HMRC time to pay scheme paints him in a very poor light.

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  • On past performance, most of the legal media should have received threatening letters etc from Ian - so what's changed? Fair comment perhaps?

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  • Difficult to defend your reputation when your bungling management has caused the biggest law firm failure the country has ever seen. The firm was in a great position when he took over and he made a complete mess of managing the firm. Extremely telling that he did not join his former partners at one of the new LLP's which were set up when Halliwells wip, debt book and shamed equity partners were hawked around the market. It seems even those who voted him into the managing partner role in the first place turned their backs on him. Suppose its hard to remain friends when you have lost hundreds of thousands on the back of Austin managing the firm into administration.

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  • The Administrators will be able to sell tickets for the litigation...

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  • Austin has dragged some of his casework from Halliwells over to Heatons. Some of you will be interested to learn that he is currently being instructed by Salford University to pursue a libel claim.
    Lets just say it will make for a very interesting case.

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  • Who needs tickets when you get it all for free right here?

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  • Now it all becomes clear...
    Halliwells LLP (in Administration) is the registered proprietor of the UK trade mark for..."Board Protect".
    It could come in handy.

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  • How can a business lock in women returning from maternity leave (the paltry extra non-statutory bunce had to be repaid if you left within a certain time of your return) but fail to lockin the (mostly male) equity partners who trousered the millions

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  • So the chair of audit at Salford is also the instructed solicitor? How does that work when it comes to approving bills? How much in fees has the university paid to the firms he has worked for?
    Have I misunderstood this?

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  • That is correct - the Chair of Audit (Austin) is also the instructed solicitor. Theoretically that is perfectly legal providing the University's Board of Governors have authorised it. However, since the process was begun on 24th August (curiously, within a week or so of the Private Eye article going to press), and the Board of Governors do not meet at all over the summer, I at least would be interested to know who authorised the University to instruct him.
    Unless, of course, he turned out to be doing the work for free as a result of wounded pride over the article in the Eye. Rather an amusing though.
    As for your other question - Salford University have refused to answer a Freedom of Information request about how much money has been thrown at Halliwells, instead choosing to describe the requestor as "vexatious" (i.e. the same thing they've done for a vast number of FoI requests about their expenses).

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  • When we get to 300 comments, which must be a record, will The Lawyer print a commemorative edition of all of them and present them to Mr Austin? He could keep it next to his 2006 Management Partner of the Year award.

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