Leading Hammonds partner Duncan Haymes is joining some of his former colleagues at Holden + Co
Also joining the new insolvency boutique is former Hammonds head of insolvency Paul Rhodes, while Jeremy Bennett, a senior insolvency partner at Hammonds' Leeds office, is understood to be talking to the firm. The Lawyer understands that Haymes will run the Manchester arm of the new firm. Name partner Phil Holden and Tim Pope, another former Hammonds partner, are based in London. The move could tear a large chunk out of Hammonds' remaining insolvency practice, particularly as accountant Begbies Traynor will follow Haymes to the new firm. According to sources close to Hammonds, Begbies Traynor provided the law firm with around £1.5m worth of work in 2000-01. The turnover of the Hammonds insolvency department that year was around the £10m mark. Sources in the North West insolvency market point out that no insolvency practitioner would sever ties with a law firm, because solicitors and accountants in insolvency like to maintain reciprocal relationships. "But if Duncan Haymes is not at Hammonds, we'll ask the question, 'Who will there be left to instruct?'" commented one insolvency practitioner. Hammonds has now combined insolvency with banking. Managing partner Chris Jones said that Haymes was leaving because he was uncomfortable with the change. "Duncan hasn't been comfortable with how we've changed our approach," he said. Jones said the firm has projected that the banking and insolvency department will turn over £20m this year.