Hardman and Slater Heelis dispute over

MANCHESTER commercial firm Slater Heelis has settled its dispute with partner Peter Hardman over the terms of his retirement and is continuing in partnership despite issuing a writ to dissolve itself.

Hardman declined to resign from the firm last December after a dispute. In an effort to remove him, the firm's 20 other partners issued a High Court writ to dissolve the partnership.

Hardman's lawyer Paul Thomas of Halliwell Landau said at the time that if the firm dissolved, its assets would have to be sold, partners could go elsewhere and other law firms could buy the 225-year-old name.

But a spokesman for Slater Heelis said last week: “What Hardman didn't realise was that the remaining 20 partners had signed an agreement saying they would stay in partnership.”

Hardman and Slater Heelis have signed a confidentiality agreement over the terms of their settlement and neither side would comment last week. A statement said that the firm and Hardman were “pleased to announce their differences have been resolved and that terms have been agreed for his retirement from the firm with effect from 31 January 1998”.

It said the other 20 partners would continue in partnership under the name Slater Heelis from its existing offices.