Four settle as Hammonds pursues former partners

Hammonds settled with at least four of its former partners before kicking off its £3m profit dispute against 14 other ex-partners in June, it emerged last week.

One former partner told The Lawyer that there were originally around 18 former partners that the firm was looking to sue.

“I know of at least four, however, that managed to come to some arrangement with Hammonds,” said the lawyer.

The news comes as the court documents for Hammonds’ claim were made public this month, as first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (14 August).

Hammonds claims that the ex-partners owe the firm money for overdrawings on anticipated profit over a two-year period – the 2003-04 and 2004-05 financial years.

The claim form, issued on 11 June, names the 14 partners and the sums that Hammonds is seeking to reap back from them.

Former construction head David Jones, who retired in 2004, has the largest demand of any individual at £378,590, while former competition chief Stephen Tupper, now at Watson Farley & Williams, had the smallest claim against him at £92,642.

Hammonds is seeking to claim a daily rate of interest from each of the defendants, with the clock already ticking until the date of resolution.

Hammonds has instructed Alan Steinfeld QC of XXIV Old Buildings, while Addleshaw Goddard is advising the former partners.

Nine of the 14 former partners issued proceedings on 26 June against their former firm in relation to their right to inspect certain partnership documents, which they claim was denied.

A Hammonds spokesperson said the firm would not be commenting on any aspect of the case.