Halliwells settles on new managing partner

Halliwell Landau managing partner Paul Thomas has stood down and been replaced by commercial litigation head Ian Austin following contested management elections.

Senior partner Alec Craig has been re-elected for a further three years after his post was not contested. Only Austin stood against Thomas for the managing partner role.

The Lawyer understands that Austin, who is in his early 40s, was put forward to stand against Thomas by a group of younger Halliwells partners, who felt he would better represent their views.

Thomas, meanwhile, will return to full-time fee-earning as a partner in the firm’s commercial litigation department.

Thomas became Halliwells’ first ever managing partner in September 2000, when the firm decided to split its management between two people. This followed senior partner Roger Lancaster’s decision to step down after six years of service.

Halliwells has also announced that it expects its turnover to exceed £40m at the end of this financial year, representing double-digit growth of more than 12 per cent on its 2002-03 turnover of £35.3m.

Halliwells held informal merger talks with 18-partner Manchester commercial firm Wacks Caller before Christmas, but they did not progress to full negotiations.