Categories:North West

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

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  • It is true, sadly for those who put their money in. What really got to me was that with a board comprised largely of corporate partners (with Ian as a compensatory litigation bozo), not one of them had the sense to apply the standards they advised their clients were necessary when looking at financial promotion/investment decisions.
    Ian could therefore happily tell the Full Members one set of figures about cashflow and working capital whilst making completely different statements to the Fixed Share Members and potential Full Members, apparently completely oblivious to the legal implications of what he was doing.
    No written accounts of any sense were produced - you were encouraged (should you have had the audacity to question what you were being told as a mere junior partner gimp) to speak to the FD who tried to make Ian's two set of statements match-up.

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  • Its an utter disgrace to say the least. Sadly a sign of the times and the profession (whatever that means).

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  • There probably -hopefully-will be litigation. The problem for the fixed share partners is that RBS is probably going to clear out the coffers of the defendants leaving nothing for them if they were successful in a misrep claim. Something needs to happen to make partners think twice about behaving this way again. Where is the SRA? Too busy to bother with commercial law firms?

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  • Ian Austin features in the latest edition of Private Eye (20 August 2010) in his capacity as chair of the "University" of Salford's audit committee. It seems that they have been instructing Halliwells to threaten to sue students for libel.

    Allegedly.

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  • If you look at the former Board they are a rich group of people and I doubt they would be wiped out by claims running to a couple of million.

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  • @Lord Gnome

    Not allegedly I'm afraid, given I was one of the students threatened!

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  • So there are 100 FSM's who put money in and they claim they were misled. So 100 people have a misrep claim. If each of those people put in £500 there is a substantial fighting fund.
    Obtain some after the event insurance and instruct a litigator on a discounted CFA to bring proceedings against those who allegedly misrepresented the position.
    whilst it seems unlikely that creditor pressure will clean out the Board members how satisfying would it be to see those who behaved in this way bankrupt?
    Worth £500? I would think so.

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  • So are you seriously suggesting that the managing partner of a top 40 law firm knowingly displayed one set of figures to one group of partners and an entirely different set of figures to another group of partners? If this is the case then there is a clear integrity issue and a report should be sent to the SRA. Excuse the pun but something does not add up here. There is a duty of good faith between partners and a solicitor is simply not permitted to behave in this way. Either this is a case of sour grapes and unjustified allegations or there is an extremely serious conduct issue to be investigated. Very disturbing

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  • @'S'

    How else would so many people have been taken for a ride so unwittingly? These are intelligent people. The simplest explanation is misrepresentation. Remember Occam's razor

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  • Far be it from me to interfere on private grief, but if people are to make these people bankrupt, please refer their trustee in bankruptcy to S342A of the insolvency act (recovery of excessive pension contributions)
    PS: what goes around comes around, but it might get there a little quicker with litigation

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  • What about a £21,000 tax bill because Halliwells didn't pay the income tax for six months? Where is the money that was put aside for tax?
    Nice letter from HMRC demanding immediate payment of £21,000 tax otherwise the will seek recoveries in the courts.
    Where does anybody just get their hands on £21,000?

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  • In defence of Ian Austin
    I was as shocked as anyone by what’s gone on at Halliwells, but there’s been a lot of rot talked.
    I’m going to stick my neck out and speak up for the lads over there. First, so they did this hooky property deal where the partners all creamed a few mill each. SO WHAT? That’s capitalism kids. Get real. As I was saying to one of the ex-partners on his yacht in Puerto Banus the other week – who wouldn’t honestly have done the same thing given the choice? I know I have and if it wasn’t for the cowardice of the banks, then I would again.
    The rest is here...
    http://rogercashman.blogspot.com/2010/07/halliwell-landau-rip.html

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  • you lay down with dogs and you get........

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  • Offer a small capital stake in a business that is about to go into administration and then ask a fixed share member to pay you 20k.
    That leaves you 1k to find.

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  • Roger Cashman - you sound at least as big a tard as Ian Austin. See you next Tuesday.

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  • Honest naked greed is far better than disguised naked greed. At least everybody knows where they are

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  • At least Ian Austin has come out and faced the music. He may be a laughing stock but he is taking it on the chin and trying to salvage something from the mess he created. It must be tough for him moving to that little firm and carrying the stigma of failure but at least he is having a go.
    Senior Partner Alec Craig is nowhere near as visible as he once was. Some may suggest he has gone into hiding. In terms of culpability he is right up there with Austin and is probably more to blame because unlike Austin he understood the numbers.

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  • Further information on Ian Austin's "activities" can be found in the most recent copy of the Private Eye (No.1269 20 August- 2 Sept 2010, page 30). This will be of interest to anyone following this story and particularly to ex Halliwells' employees and students of the University of Salford!
    To surmise, Ian Austin currently is Chair of the University of Salford's Audit Committee and a member of the University Council. How long he can remain in this position should be the subject of debate. Austin and other members of the University Council recently amended the University's Royal Charter, allowing themselves to "confer benefits on members of the Council if the benefit has been authorised by the Council". "Benefits" include buying or selling goods, services or land, being employed by or paid by the University or receiving any other financial benefit - things previously not allowed in order to ensure the independence of the Council. Mind you, the old charter didn't stop the University using Halliwells when it threatened to sue an undergraduate student for libel, in connection with a website, which he denies having created. The lawyers' letter in March accused him of "defamation in its most cowardly form" and demanded that he reveal the identities of all contributors to the website. That same undergraduate has now recently written to the University asking whether it would now review Austin's position as Chair of Audit, given that he had led his law firm into administration. He also asked under freedom of information how the University decided to use Halliwells to send letters to its students, and whether Austin had been any party to that decision. His request was refused as "vexatious"!
    I think every one of us needs to ask at this juncture, why do we all continue to let these greedy capitalists get away with it? The apparatus of the Criminal Justice System in a bourgeois society isn't going to assist, hence the fact this Austin guy is living it up as a millionaire.

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  • The Information Commissioner is getting ever closer to forcing the University of Salford to publish its expenses data (which Austin, as Chair of Audit, has had a hand in suppressing from publication thus far).
    If those reading think Halliwells LLP has a poor record under Austin's not-so-steady hand, be aware that Salford University managed to clock up a staggering £37 million (!!) in expense accounts for the last financial year, and thus far nobody is any the wiser as to what exactly this was spent on.

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  • Let's hope it wasn't more Louis Vuitton luggage.......

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