Deacons' partners declared bankrupt

EIGHT equity partners of Deacon Goldrein Green (DGG) were made bankrupt last week and the firm was officially wound up, freeing liquidators to handle financial claims from the 200 former staff.

The court hearing came just a week before the three-month deadline for claims under the Employment Protection Act.

The Law Society confirms that the practising certificates of partners Richard Grimes, Christopher Broad, Alan Sprince and former senior partner Andrew Macfarlane have been suspended. Michael Coghlan, Andrew Gillespie, Martin Bracey and Jeffrey Cunliffe have renewed their certificates subject to approved employment.

Three former equity partners, founders David Deacon and Martin Green, and Patricia Reynolds are fighting bankruptcy petitions. Their solicitor, Wigan sole practitioner Marshall Ronald, says: “Bankruptcy petitions are being resisted and we are optimistic that we will knock them out.”

He will argue that because they left the partnership in 1992 they are not liable for the debts of the subsequent partnership.

Ronald confirms that he has been asked by Deacon to begin libel proceedings against the Mail on Sunday following an article in November about the demise of the firm.

District Judge Elliott Knopf heard last week that the winding up petition filed by North West Securities Bank, which is owed u400,000, was supported by Frizzell Banking Services, owed u800,000, and Customs and Excise, owed u400,000.

Former senior partner Macfarlane believes that more than 95 per cent of Deacons' staff have been re-employed.

No petition was filed against Neville Goldrein, who was never a partner at DGG.