Halliwells’ client money fiasco haunts new owners

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Readers' comments (21)

  • If the SRA had been dealing with a 4 man firm from Bradford then people would have been struck off by now. Double standards at work. The Halliwells partners ought to be the ones paying back the money rather than the successor firms. It was the Halliwells partners who allowed these things to go on whilst they were at Halliwells and before they moved on to the successor firms.

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  • Is Austin still chair of the Salford university audit committee? Lol
    He doesn't appear to be head of litigation at Heatons anymore.
    What is the SRA going to do with him. On his own admission he was there until the end, working his socks off. An admission which represents a characteristic own goal on his part.

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  • In relation to the comment from "Disgusted", I could not agree more. As a sole practitioner, who used to work in a very large law firm, I have seen the SRA work from both angles. There can be no doubt that the SRA over-regulates small firms and under-regulates big firms. It is a disgrace. Goodness knows how the SRA will cope with the new "Outcomes-focused regulation" coming in in October 2011. If they already run scared of applying their own rule book to large firms, what are they going to do in an even more subjective world?

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  • Pay up and we will forget all about it. Great message to the profession.

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  • I read today on their website that the SDT is prosecuting someone for misleading the police by not telling them that he was an accredited police station representative. If the SDT has the resources to deal with cases such as this, how come it isn't turning over Halliwells?

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  • Where's Wally?
    according to Heaton's website, Wally aka Austin...
    "His commercial reputation lead to his appointment to the Business Leaders Advisory Committee to Manchester City Council for two years and currently he is a member of Salford University Corporate Governance Council and is Chairman of their Audit Committee"
    what an alarming thought for Salford....

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  • Austin is acting for Salford in suing some guy who runs a website called vagrant in the casual ward of a workhouse.

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  • Yep - Austin is "acting" for Salford University in this ridiculous libel case. Austin - himself a property litigator - has instructed a Barrister well known for his expertese in... personal injury and negligence. Does it get better? Well he's still Chair of Audit at the University, which has recently announced it will be making 15% of all staff redundant AND taking out large commercial loans. As Chair of Audit, he also presumably signed off on a hugely expensive lease arrangement for the University's new premises at MediaCityUK (£40,000/week ex. Vat). This whilst the few at the top of the University reward themselves with ever greater riches, chauffeurs, grace-and-favour houses. Does it all sound strangely familiar?

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  • If BLG didn't ringfence the client money shortfall then does that mean Clydes will now pick up the bill?

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  • Client account shortages remain the responsibility of the principals who were in place at the time so the successor firms are in the clear. SRA should go for the former principals, as they usually do.

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