Categories:North West

Halliwells to appoint administrator; BLG and Hill Dicks vie for assets

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  • It is always sad to see the demise of a major law firm. It does not bode well for the profession as a whole and there must be a fair chance of another firm or two going the same way soon, in the present economic climate. Presumably yet another group of partners in a law firm will be knocking on the door of Ralli Partnership Law ! A silver lining perhaps for some but generally not good news.

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  • very sad to hear this news, I just hope all the lower level staff, who from what I hear are over-worked and under enough stress anyway (my husband included) aren't tossed aside when someone new takes over.

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  • Good riddance.

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  • The irony of this article and most of the bitter, misinformed comments above is that Halliwells is not actually in administration - fact. If, it chooses to put inself into administration at a later date on the back of a merger/takover, that is something quite different. (Please note I am not a Halliwells partner!!)

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  • I remember undetaking an interview at this firm two years back.
    I have never come across such pretentious individuals at all levels in my life.
    The firm honestly thought it was Magic outside of the circle but little did it know it was the fruit pip at the bottom of the bin!
    I'm ever so glad to hear of its disappearance in particular in Manchester where the firm felt they were by far the elitest! - Shame on those innocent individuals whose livelihoods hang by an uncertain thread.

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  • As someone who formerly worked at Halliwells I can only concur with some of the comments here. The partners at this firm knew very little other than their particular field of expertise and displayed very little nouse when it came to handling the upcoming recession. The fact that some partners, like rats leaving a sinking ship will escape the turmoil that many others will face is the utmost in injustice.
    The firm and it's partners deserve no sympathy....

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  • I can tell you that the downfall of 'H' is as a result of one thing, sub-standard practice management by their support staff.

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  • Good riddance! Probably the worse firm ever to work for. People who had been there for years were promoted to director level even though they couldn't do the job. I feel really sorry for the hard working support staff who will no doubt be the first to face the axe. The EP's who shared the multi million pound payout for Spinningfields can all retire/move on with a big greedy smile on their faces.

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  • I've worked in the legal industry for many years (and also had the inexorable joy of working at Halliwells) and I have to say the greed and general bad management is the norm at most firms. Anyone who claims otherwise simply isn't privy to management discussions/the rationale behind decisions! Lawyers are right in there with bankers in terms of values/morals. It's all about the money honey! The partners couldn't care less about the staff as long as they come out unscathed (and of course it will be structured in such a way that the partners will).

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  • It is more likely than not that the decision to put the firm into admin was the partners', rather than the banks'. From the banks' perspective, the LLP will have little by way of tangible assets to secure the borrowing, with only debtors and WIP available as realisable assets, neither of which will realise anything like their face value. The banks' best outcome would ordinarily be a refinancing, , particularly by providing additional finance to partners personally to invest in the LLP. I suspect that, with the exit of so many partners, coupled with poor profitability, the working capital shortfall was more than the partners were prepared to bridge personally. The admin route at least enables them, potentially, to draw a line under their personal liabilities at this stage, and gives them the chance to move on.
    Now that the unthinkable has happened, though, do not be surprised if there are not more such high profile casualties. I think we could all draw up a preety obvious list.

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  • City Gent | 25-Jun-2010 5:58 pm
    Of all the commercial firms I have ever dealt with Halliwells were consistently the most unpleasant, pointlessly aggressive and generally objectionable.
    Manchester is better off without them.
    You obviously never litigated (espec on disease work) against their Sheffield office, to whom the same description could certainly be applied. In fact, a friend of mine who was a litigation partner in their Manchester office once told me that even they couldn't stand their Sheffield litigation colleagues. Good luck, Kennedys, when they join you!

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  • Anonymous | 29-Jun-2010 3:34 pm - I have to say that is probably the most rational and fair comment on here.

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  • Having worked at Halliwells for many years I was treated disgracefully by them as my time with them reached its end. The Partners are outragiously arrogant and they pack together like wild animals against anyone who raises an issue. I am not aware of any EP in the firm worthy of respect. I would hope that the EPs would suffer financially from this. Sadly however, it will likely be the poor staff who will pay the cost as the EPs will have covered their greedy backs without a care for anybody else. I am so glad I escaped that nasty little firm. I I wish support staff the best and EPs the worst.

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  • All the partners were class acts :)

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  • Ha ha ha ha ha....still cannot pick myself up off the floor since first seeing this story....good riddance!

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  • The name Halliwells will die, but the characters who killed it will relocate, like a virus and carry on with the same behaviour in their new 'hosts', causing ructions, upsetting people, driving for cash over discretion. After all, if they join as equity partners they will have votes, have capital in your firm, and one day gain management roles and start to tell you what to do, just like they did in Halliwells - and we can see where that got everyone.
    Are not the firms thinking of hiring these partners asking for serious trouble by taking these people on board, even if they do have a book of business? It is perhaps the associates they should be bringining on if they can (although given market conditions God help the juniors.)

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  • I have been on the legal scene in manchester for over 40years and have seen a dramatic fall in what I call good practice within the profession. Seems Halliwells are none too popular with their own staff - always a recipe for disaster

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