Hammonds Direct loses case against former partner

After Hammonds ­Support Services – the ­trading arm of the failed property ­conveyancing business – went into administration, the 41 Hammonds Direct partners were forced to pay £2.3m to cover future ­liabilities for a ­further six years.

York was the sole partner who disputed liability and filed a counter-claim against the Hammonds Direct partnership on 16 April 2009 at Cambridge County Court.

Last week the court found in York’s favour. Hammonds Direct was ordered to pay costs of around £10,000 and was refused the right to appeal.

Former Hammonds Direct partner Mark Hilton, who is now a partner at Addleshaw Goddard and acts as spokesperson for the Hammonds Direct ­partners, said: “We’re ­obviously disappointed. The decision was most categorically not that Mr York ­doesn’t owe the partnership money, but rather related to the method of recovery which had been adopted.

“The committee is ­considering its options, including that of an appeal. Mr York remains the only Hammonds Direct partner not to have honoured his partnership obligations, and it’s more significant that the judge in this case dismissed his other arguments […] and reduced his award of costs.”

Patricia Edwards of 20 Essex Street represented York, while Hammonds Direct was represented by Simon Jelf of 48 Bedford Row.

York could not be reached for comment.