Categories:North West

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

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  • "The entrepreneurial Ian Austin has combined an astute hiring and merger policy with an infectious enthusiasm and ambition, to put Halliwells back on the map as a serious UK player".

    http://awards.legalbusiness.co.uk/pdfs/manpar.pdf

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  • Bring-on the litigation...but can Mr Austin and his merry band afford it?

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  • Come on Ian, feed the flames with some more ill judged comments. I really hope that you have not learnt your lesson because you make me laugh out loud. How about a quote like "that firm had the best of me" or "when the seagulls follow the trawler it`s because they think sardines will be thrown into the sea"

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  • The problem is that it's one rule for a small high street firm run by ethnic minorities and another rule for the national firms. The SRA should have intervened but they didn't have enough staff or a possible firm on panel to deal with this. Then the white knights BLG, HBJG and HD come galloping to the rescue salivating at the prospect of non-existent riches. The partners disappear off into the distance with their ill-gotten gains. 3 months time all will be forgotten. Easy money.

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  • Though it doesn't for a moment detract from his monumental hubris, greed and sheer stupidity there is a tiny grain of truth in what he says - at least he and a few others did stay to the final curtain. What about all the others who pushed off? How about Ms Liversidge, former Sheffield head, for example? I'm not aware of any other former Halliwells' equity partner who marked mass redundancy by posting a jaunty music video to Youtube. The crass insensitiivity is truly staggering. It doesn't suggest much by way of humility or, (like Austin) the first inkiling of recognition of what they have done.

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  • ‘I gave my life to that practice’-

    this reminds me of Mrs Overall, Acorn Antiques after she got sacked "Does a faithful dog expect to be kicked? That show was my life."

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  • Greedy equity partners. Was always a firm with a well deserved hard boys attitude. Looks like they got what they deserved - but unfortunately at the expense of the jobs of a lot of overworked and exploited staff. Someone should carefully examine that transaction - maybe the money will be clawed back. Lets see.
    Ian can not possibly be soley responsible for this. Decisions in law firms are taken by groups of partners.

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  • Not many are favourable. I think even the most thick skinned moron would have got the message by now. Good luck Heatons, inspired appointment, you are now known for all the wrong reasons.

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  • Anyone noticed his maths are a bit adrift he lost everything and put in £700,000 but took, if reports are to be believed at least £1m as part of the property windfall and I am sure has had a pound or two of drawings in his time. Most of us would be lucky to earn £300K in our working careers.

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  • Re Anonymous 9 Aug 2010, 5.09pm
    He may not have any cash, but his ill-gotten gains are in his SIPP, as are those of the other 40 equity partners.
    On the bright side, section 342A of the Insolvency Act 1986 allows a trustee in bankruptcy to claw back excessive pension contributions. Let's hope that something is done to make them pay something back.
    I would expect that if any of the equity partners do get made bankrupt, the legal costs will be competitive. I can think of a lot of people who'd willingly do the job for nothing.

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  • What about the minimum £25k loans that partners were asked to take out whilst the firm was in serious trouble and that they are now personally liable for?
    The partners were bullied into signing these and were told that if they didn't sign you have no future at Halliwells.
    What about the six months of tax that Halliwells should have paid but instead raided so now partners owe 6 months tax?
    Six months tax plus minumum £25k loan. All done at a time that he must have known the firm was going bust.
    As for a property deal whereby they paid the highest rent so as to trouser £16m well that is beyond words. They received £21m and put only £5m back into the firm and pocketed the rest! Had they not done that then Halliwells would still be afloat.
    None of that money should have been taken as a bonus but if you are going to do that then take £5m and put £16m back into the firm because do you know what happens if you don't? Take a look at what has happened if you don't know.
    This is basic stuff that a corner shop owner could tell you.
    Time for businessmen to run law firms, not lawyers.

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  • so stop moaning and start suing

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  • There is a lot of emotion here but do you honestly think Ian and his fellow equity partners care what you think? They have bought land, built houses and filled their pension pots. There are winners and losers in business. The 40 who took the money are winners and all of you who lost your jobs or foolishly poured money into the Halliwells money pit are losers. Common sense and a less gullible approach would have helped you to avoid these losses. Clever lawyers vs stupid lawyers and look who has won, they have got away with it because the stupid lawyers listened to the hype and failed to look properly at the financials

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  • Winners and Losers - that's a shockingly heartless answer. Are you autistic?
    Many employees - front office and back office - who competently and calmly got on with their jobs for many years - are now out of work. They're not 'gullible' or lacking in common sense - they simply did what they were asked to do - trust their employer, to whom they owed a duty of good faith.
    They were mislead, not misguided.

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  • Is there a possibility the "stupid" lawyers were just lied to?

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  • winners and losers | 12-Aug-2010 9:55 pm, the remainder who 'foolishly poured money in' were told that if they didn't then they didn't have a future. They was no 'put this money in and reap benefits', it was more what would happen if you didn't.
    It isn't gullible and nobody put it in lighlty. There wasn't much choice.
    They are all losers because the 'clever' lawyers destroyed a business - how is that success?
    If Directors of a normal business behaved in the way these equity partners did they wouldn't be allowed to run a business again.
    Let's wait for the results of the bodies looking through this.

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  • We will miss the scallywags and their false profits and pep figures. Now Kennedys and their disturbing homo erotic video stars will have to be the laughing stock of the legal community

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  • is that a defence? What happened if you refused to put the money in? Were you shot at dawn?
    Surely the lawyers could have requested financial information to enable them to evaluate the risk. Isn`t that a lawyers job?

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  • If this is true then those who told the lies should be sued for misrepresentation, breach of contract and deceit.

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  • Reading Ian Austin's comments again the sad thing is that he probably believes them.

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