Categories:North West

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

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  • Question: what exactly do the Law Society and the Solicitors Regulation Authority do? Surely these former equity partners of Halliwells should be the subject of investigation and criminal prosecution.

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  • Afraid Private Eye might be well on the money when it states that SRA has come to stand for "Supine Regulation Authority".

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  • The Salford University story is extemely worrying. I bet Heatons didn't see that one coming. Let's hope he has delivered some clients (Salford University?) otherwise the junior staff will be questioning the wisdom of the partners who appointed him and departures/recruitment difficulties will ensue.
    We are all looking forward to seeing what the Administrator/the bank/the Landlord of Spinningfields/the Landlord of King St/the Landlord of St James's Court/the Landlord of the London premises/HMRC and the FSM's are going to do next. A winter of discontent followed by frenzied litigation looks like a good bet.

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  • What is known for certain is that University Council (of which Austin is a member) has been dipping into the charitable accounts to have weekend binges at expensive Lake District resorts under the guise of 'strategising' the future of the University. How much work has been done given the alleged quantities of alcohol involved is open to dispute.
    With £37 million of expenses on the books (nobody has yet examined the receipts that make up this enormous sum of money, which is actually more than the University has raised in tuition fees from its British students in the same financial year), there are likely to be all kinds of bodies buried in the financial yard.
    Those who appointed Austin as Chair of Audit deserve particular praise for spotting a compliant squanderer when they saw one, and it must be said they got a handle of his character long before RBS, Halliwells or the SRA even became suspicious. Over the last few years, this has allowed Salford University to dump well over £120 million of financial profligacy under the heading 'expenses' in the Annual Accounts.

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  • Austin "Lookalike" Warden Samuel Norton of Shawshank. There's more than just a slight resemblance! Watch the film again. Oh and Austin if you are reading this, that was NOT a compliment. Although in your (under) world, it probably was!
    Ex Halliwells employee.

    P.s I can't wait until I bump into you!

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  • If the comments get to 200 then this will surely be the most commented on story the Lawyer has ever seen. The Halliwells debacle was one thing but there were no real surprises in Manchester and parts of London when the Firm collapsed. The Salford University story is a brand new revelation and has opened up a whole new chapter. The story in Private Eye promotes Austin to celebrity status and it can only be a matter of time before Panorama carries out a full and detailed investigation into Halliwells collapse.
    Does anybody know how much Austin is paid by Salford University?
    Will the name Austin creep into the English Language in the same way as the name of the inventor of the flushing toilet?

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  • With all the comments about litigation (some of which are presumably not from FSMs) should we not propose contributons to a fighting fund? How about loans that are only repayable on successful action? Some of the money could even be used to find Alec Craig. The Law Society still has him as a M of Halliwells LLP.

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  • Yes whatever it takes, but I think all the other foul ex Halliwells' equity partners should be in the frame too. And I don't just mean the ugly women ones. As solicitors we actually have an obligation under the Solicitors Code to report to the SRA (if it hasn't already been done). Let's face it, we all have good reason to doubt the integrity of this unscrupulous lot! They have been taking the *iss and are laughing at every one of us, despite what lies they will tell you. However, as fat cats go they are still too small fry not to be made an example of by the SRA. So let's start taking some action. Who knows it may even deter our new management from doing the same to us!! Do we even know whether the Hill Dicks equity partners took a reverse premium on their new premises?? People are too busy boot licking round the next bunch of bosses and wowing at nice new premises instead of ACTUALLY DOING SOMETHING! Start getting evidence sent to the SRA (you can do this anonymously). There probably won’t be a spare law firm to bail you out next time. So as Brown,Russell ,Mason et al are stuffing their fat bellies, you'll be stacking shelves in Tesco.

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  • I'm delighted at the flurry of activity to ensue after the Salford University revelations - given it was me who broke the story.
    Austin - if you're reading, I've got a very, very long memory, and I do not take kindly to being threatened. Perhaps you ought to have stopped and considered what you were doing before you allowed yourself to be complicit in squandering vast sums of my money then instructing one of your shockingly awful lawyers to follow this up with a lengthy diatribe full of menacing language and few facts.
    Lets just wait and see what those £37 million of expenses at Salford contain, shall we?
    @Anonymous | 2-Sep-2010 8:12 am
    It is not a matter of public record how much Austin is paid as Chair of Audit at Salford, unfortunately.

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  • Come on students at Salford Uni. If this load of ex Halliwells fixed share "partners" (or employees as they ought to be called) haven't got the balls to stand up for themselves - you nail him! Just been looking into that MediaCityUK ...and Jon Corner appointment.....mmmmmmmmm... doesn't smell fishy AT ALL.

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  • He and Conman Blair would make a good team. Both blind to their own failings, which are only too obvious to any observer and even more so to those who have suffered from the fall-out.

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  • Another 3,500 people to lose their job at the effectively nationalised RBS. This is in addition to the 9000 job cuts announced last year. These dirty equity partners of Halliwells, and their £20m loan from RBS which enabled them to pocket a reverse premium for more or less the same amount , are responsible for this along with all the other capitalist pigs out there. Hey, Austin etc, I wonder if you will now undertake some half hearted corporate social responsibility to help raise money for people who may now lose their home as a result of these job losses. Oh no I forgot, you guys only do that sort of charity thing when there's a greasy pole to climb e.g one leading to equity partnership or a lucrative role on the board of a Greater Manchester University

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  • These allegations need to be investigated by proper investigative journalists. We own most of the RBS and they have been totally shafted. The Landlord has been shafted, the FSM's have been shafted, Salford Uni is in itself an interesting story but add in what has happened at Halliwells and it becomes a very interesting story. Maybe Mr Austin was just a man out of his depth but there is a lot of smoke swirling around. It is a shame Paul Foot is not around.

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  • I will go without my lunch for 1 week, Greg's will suffer but it iwill be worth it. Despite my belly rumbling for its daily sausage roll I will store up the coppers and by the end of next week I should be able to weigh in with at least £2.64. If every angry young man and woman out there do the same then we are in business.

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  • @ Panorama | 2-Sep-2010 8:54 pm
    I assure you if there is anything irregular in the accounts of the University of Salford, I shall be nailing Austin for that. I have been pursuing the detailed breakdown of these accounts for well over a year now and am waiting patiently for the Information Commissioner to issue a decision notice compelling the University publish the pertinent data.
    As for RBS, the Landlord and Halliwells etc, I do not know enough about these areas to properly investigate. I would be happy to receive advice and see what I can turn up.

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  • I take my hat off to you (Anonymous 3 Sept 12:19). There certainly appears to be information Salford Uni doesn't want made public. Please keep us updated.

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  • Would appear one of the subjects of the recent Private Eye article has resigned from Salford University's Council.
    True to form, Ian Austin's still hanging in there.

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  • ....it tends to be the rats and cockroaches that survive.

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  • Alec Craig was spotted driving a Range Rover in Manchester city centre yesterday afternoon. Rumours that 'sponsored by RBS' was emblazoned down the side are as yet unconfirmed.

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  • "Property of RBS" might be more accurate.
    Must be a bit difficult to carry-off your usual Manc swagger if your financial incontinence has led directly to the biggest collapse of a law firm to date and the whole town knows it.

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