Categories:North West

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

  • Print
  • Comments (342)

Readers' comments (342)

  • If I understand the comments correctly the suggestion is that the Members changed the deed in bad faith to the FSMs and without telling them just so that the Members could benefit from the reverse premium.
    If this is correct is it not a matter for the police?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • good will messages - congratulations Ian, it is a record.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Taxi for Mr Austin, Mr Craig and the others...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Re Anon 27 October @9:44am, because unfortunately they currently make the rules! Our bourgeois, not content with having the wives and daughters of others at their disposal, take the greatest pleasure in seducing each others' wives.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • When the ex staff get interviewed it is all going to come out. There is a lot more to come!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And for those still wondering, here was Alec Craig.....

    http://www.citywire.co.uk/wealth-manager/xcap-s-chair-craig-resigns-as-firm-floats/a431402

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Some astounding revelations today RE: Salford University - Austin may be in a spot of bother as his submissions to the High Court and today's revelations are diametrically opposed.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maybe he knows what's coming!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Why is Austin in trouble?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Re Anonymous, 5:19pm
    Can you tell us where we can read the revelations concerning Austin and the Salford University litigation?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I'm afraid only a little of the Salford University stuff is in publication at the moment. Those with a specific interest should get themselves to the Manchester Civil Justice Centre on 22nd November if they want to learn the rest - or keep an eye on the press.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Is this the hearing of a defamation claim or something else?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • How did Austin fare at the recent mediation over St James's Court. Has he done the honourable thing and coughed up or is he still denying he is liable?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • i walked past their old Spinningfields office the other day and it looks totally empty. What a total waste of space the Halliwells management team proved to be. Ian Austin was absolutely central to Halliwells demise. I wonder what would have happened if he had not been elected to the Managing Partners role. Lesson to every business out there.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Austin may be the only one literally stupid enough to try to defend his decisions - but he wasn't on his own. The next few months are going to be very interesting.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • This story seems to have gone quiet? developments anyone?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • the story will come alive when Halliwells goes into liquidation and the liquidator brings various claims against the ex partners. As the man who negotiated the Spinningfields deal and pocketed a 75k bonus in addition to several hundred thousand pounds Austin will be in the thick of the action. Senior partner, managing partner, board members and heads of department may well find themselves in the firing line.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Wouldn't it be helpful if the website had a control to just take us to the last comment or even the last page of comments?
    Hundreds of people across the land will now be trawling through 26 pages of previous comments to find themselves very disappointed by this one.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Some interesting revelations today RE: the University of Salford case. I must admit that Austin's approach to civil litigation strikes me as highly unorthodox - does anybody know if he's been instructed on a libel case before? I'm disappointed to see he's not being pursued for the claim at St James' Court, but I've got my fingers crossed that some results will be yielded post-January 2011.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Maestro Diaz-Rainey always used to do Austin's/Halliwells' libel cases. Ian's meant to be a property litigator although he hadn't been doing very much of that whilst attempting to manage Halliwells.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • That would explain it then. Property litigator or not, he is currently handling this Libel case and has submitted vast quantities of evidence so far, along with two witness statements and a Draft Order which in my opinion is never going to get off of the ground.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • As a property litigator myself I would venture that Ian knows next to chuff all about the subject. Mind you, a complete lack of experience and expertise never stopped any partner at Halliwells from dabbling in whatever took their fancy "International arbitration Ian? But I'm a non contentious IP lawyer" "Go and read a book on it lad"

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ian may now hold himself out as a property litigator following his stint as head of insurance in the Sheffield office. He will soon be gaining valuable experience in a few other areas once the liquidator kicks things off

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • He is lamenting the fact his partners turned on him. All done without a hint of irony.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I don't think the humiliation is yet complete. The liquidator will publish his report and go after those responsible for this whole debacle. As Austin and Craig were at the heart of the firm throughout and as neither of them went to the (non) successor firms it seems reasonable to conclude that they will be firmly in the sights of the liquidator

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Ian Austin a property litigator? If he is, then what a pity he couldn't have taken a more aggressive line with the contractors carrying out the fit-out of Spinningfields, which overran by a staggering £10m to total £18m, I understand. The £18m was drawn on RBS facilities and representst the majority of the debt which is now owed to the Bank.

    Though while we're on the subject of the fit-out, there may be even bigger issues here than the unfortunate failure to control the vast overrun.

    While I'm told that the audited accounts show that all this expenditure resulted in some significant tenant's fixtures and fittings (north of £10m), the administrators apparently found little in the way of tangible assets were owned by the LLP (most tangible assets - even the paintings on meeting room walls - appear to have been leased). This just doesn't stack up.

    And then there's the question of whether the reverse premium would have been approved by the partners at such a high level if they had known that the cost of the fit out was going to be £10m higher than what they were told...

    The fit-out is one aspect of the whole debacle that has yet really to be aired, though I'm sure there are more revelations to come. The more one looks at this sorry affair, the murkier it seems to get...

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • And more updates on the Salford University front - the veracity of Austin's draft orders was never put to the test as the information he sought was eventually handed over voluntarily. There'll be another hearing now on 21st December but the Judge ordered Austin and/or the claimants to submit another witness statement as in Austin's previous two he forgot to mention whether or not the allegations made against his compadres at Salford were actually false!

    I think it has pointed out earlier that some of the things that have emerged through FoI appear to directly contradict Austin's submissions to the Court. This hasn't been assessed by the Judge yet but will be come 21st December. Will be interesting to see what explanation he comes up with.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Didn't the LLP buy the fixtures and fittings and then hock them when things started to go wrong? The cash was then poured into the money pit hence there were few assets owned by the LLP when the administrator went in.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • @hocked up | 23-Nov-2010 11:49 am

    I don't think the hocking of assets was disclosed to the partners.... when did these deals happen? You appear to have some interesting info - do tell!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I bought furniture from the great Spinningfields jumble sale and the sales staff said that that they were not acting for RBS. Does this mean that Ian, Alec et al borrowed the money from RBS and then hocked it to another finance house?

    Whilst I can see how they wasted money on the reception etc I find it very hard to believe how it all adds up to £18M....

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • If you were a former partner and don't have all of the details relevant to the full extent of the loans, the lease finance and the guarantees given then I suggest you write to the Administrator and ask him to disclose all of the information which you ought to have been provided with but which was supressed. As the Administrator is threatening to bring claims against the partners it would be advisable to obtain this information now so that you can prepare your misfeasance and misrepresentation defences.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Check out the smart brain on Brad. Not RBS so it is.......anyone.......anyone.......Bewler......anyone?
    Surely there is a young Sherlock out there who after having seen the list of creditors and reviewed the creditors committee will be able to establish which the finance house it is.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • I walked past their old offices yesterday and the building seems to be empty. What a complete mess they made of things

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • weak management who thought they would be perceived as strong if they took "big" decisions. That basically involved stifling or removing detractors and generally shouting down anybody who expressed a contrary view even if it was far more sensible than the view advanced by the board. The only surprise is that it took so long for the firm to fail after Paul Thomas lost the election.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Karma

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • what a terrible attempt to pass the buck - the external consultants thought it would in no way harm the business if we took the £15m out, ramped up our overheads and create a massive amount of debt prior to a much predicted downturn in the economy.
    They couldn't get their hands on the money fast enough and whilst the external consultants validated the partners greedy actions it was for the managing partner to recognise the danger and put the LLP's interests first. Ian failed when it came to making the right calls and that is why the firm went into administration.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • have the arbitration proceedings over Brown Street commenced yet?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Given Ian's desire to share his initial thoughts on this mess, do you think you might like to invite him to do a Christmas Special - "Take 5 - Ian's response".
    He could also take the opportunity to apologise to all his junior partners for treating them like worthless nothings (justified by the constant mantra that all sorts of "inappropriates" had had to be made up to partner to satisfy the insurance clients (but one couldn't possibly trust them with partnership information)) whilst saddling them with debt and ignoring their obligations as his partners.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Seems a number of the ones made up couldn't read a p & l account - says it all really

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • The office furniture etc was financed by lombard, technically not RBS but in reality, RBS.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • So what did the LLP get for its £18M? Funny little cupboards which were useless for storing files, some desks fixed to the wall, a pointless little table in every office and a bit of carpet. Throw in the computer and that was it as far as each office was concerned. £18M is a huge sum of money. How on earth could that money have been spent on the fit out. This needs to be looked at very carefully and the decision makers (Austin/Craig) ought not to be allowed to escape the consequences of this disgraceful and reckless spending

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Halliwells sponsored the Centre for Insolvency Law and Policy at Kingston Law School and part of the funding they provided was used to award the Halliwells LLP Prize in Insolvency law. Will Ian be visiting the University to hand the prize out to the student who wrote the best dissertation on LLP insolvency?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Would that be the same Kingston law school which recently spent half a million trying - and failing - to prosecute one of their own former members of staff for insulting the then Vice-Chancellor, Sir Peter Scott?
    Perfect bedfellows!

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • When is the Julian Assange of the legal world going to publish some hard evidence about this debacle?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Challenge accepted. Any disclosures/leaks anybody wants to make of any substantial information about the Halliwells collapse, send your supporting documentation to halliwellsdisclosure [at] gmail.com . Rest assured if it's good material, it will be published nationally.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • 365 design and advertising is another company which Ian Austin and Alec Craig are involved with. Interesting that Stephen Roe the ex Halliwells finance head resigned from both companies in April 09. Wonder whether Halliwells ended up paying him compensation?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Updates on the University of Salford front - turns out the University paid Halliwells circa £20,000 over a period of two financial years, the vast majority of which (£17k) was paid during the year before Halliwells went into administration.
    There is definitely a case for HEFCE (who act as the Charity Regulators to Universities) to investigate this. Procuring services from Trustees at the time was forbidden by the University's governing document, and Austin was serving as the Chair of Audit during the second financial year described. With this in mind, who approved the expenditure? On what basis? And why is Austin's name referenced on some of the Pre-Action legal correspondence issued on the University's behalf (which presumably incorporated some of the services for which Halliwells were remunerated).
    Lots of unanswered questions. If he personally benefitted from the expenditure he may be forced to give the money back just yet.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • Is there any chance of this drawn-out and pathetic piece of self-justification and whingeing finally being expunged from The Lawyer in 2011?

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • According to today's Manchester Evening News BDO will start interviewing all of the ex-partners of the LLP in the New Year. I have absolutely no doubt that they will stand shoulder-to-shoulder with Messrs Austin and Craig.

    Unsuitable or offensive? Report this comment

  • A number of ex partners are positively looking forward to being interviewed. They will no doubt be attending with documents created and distributed by Ian Austin. The FSM's will also want some answers from the administrator and will want copies of the advice given by the external consultants which said that the equity partners could ignore the FSM's capital stakes when it came to dividing up the reverse premium booty. That will then lead to 100 or so FSM's suing the 40 equity partners personally.

    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 (342)