News UK Leeds’ Fox Hayes goes into administration By The Lawyer 19 January 2009 20:45 13 December 2015 21:57 Sign in or register to continue reading. It's FREE Sign in Email Password Keep me logged in Forgot your password? Not registered? It's FREE! Register now Register with The Lawyer Poor Conveyancer 19 January 2009 at 19:43 Out Foxed Very sad to see a second tier player go to the wall. Whilst the established players enact and optima are the Man U and Chelsea of the volume world, employ the best staff and lead the field by a long way and will survive, never the less the message is clear no fat cats exist in conveyancing and second tier players are very vunerable. Estate Agents & Banks give the boys a break Reply Link Kay Sanders 20 January 2009 at 09:40 Heartless and callous I cannot believe the tone of this article. The statement that few of the job losses will be lawyers is heartless and callous. The comment from the manager at “another Leeds firm” is rude and demeaning both of the work previously done by Fox Hayes and to the ex-employees. It seems the legal profession has not moved on from the Victorian attitudes which used to make it so elitist and unloved by the general public. Redundancies do matter even if the people concerned are not partners or senior solicitors. Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 09:58 Foxed Up FH was an experiment in shaping a law firm as a commercial business to meet the brave new world. Its failures (wider than just the conveyancing shed) demonstate how difficult a transtion this going to be for a lot of traditional firms. Reply Link BOB the builder 20 January 2009 at 10:49 Is this all? It is noted what “Poor Coveyancer” says in respect of the second tier firms. However, rumours abound about one of the top tier firms that isn’t mentioned in the comment. It is not just the tier two that are affected but all tier firms. Drawing upon the anology of Premiership football even the Man Us and Chelseas of this world aren’t immune. What would happen if the Glazers or Abramovichs pull the financial plug? Reply Link Tim Beaumont, nothing to do with law 20 January 2009 at 11:45 Rats and Fat Cats Since when was it ethical for the captain of a sinking ship to abandon it before seeing to the safety of his crew? No more to say. Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 12:51 Typical Funny that isn’t it, when in December the rest of the firm was sold/ transferred itself to another Leeds Law firm Lupton Fawcett, leaving the conveyancing business on its own. 10 partners, 17 solicitors and 11 support staff went to Lupton Fawcett, leaving a couple of solicitors and the rest clerks at Fox Hayes. Hey presto a couple of weeks later they go under. Typical quote from ” one manager at another Leeds law firm.To anyone who has worked for law firms as a lowly clerk these comments will come as no surprise being well used to the attitude towards unqualified staff. Interesting to note that at the end of the last financial year the turnover was £10.1 million. Reply Link Debbi McCauley 20 January 2009 at 13:09 Fox Hayes callous partners I used to work for this “firm” (ha!) in Support Staff – fortunately for me I left in 2006 due to a medical condition contracted at the firm (and for which I received no help or assistance whatsoever). All their interest was in raking in the dosh to fund their posh new building – the place was a sweatshop, no more no less. Philip Drazen at the End of Year Meeting swore “Work Hard for Us and We’ll Look After You”. I profoundly hope and trust that he and his pals meet the murky end they deserve. Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 14:05 diSgusting!! Those who have mocked about this article, I think you are disgusting. Many Jobs have been lost – think of those with mortgages and children. Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 16:55 Hardly surprising! It was only a matter of time – they have followed the city’s football team – boom and bust!! And, again using the football analogies, just as Peter Ridsdale is now elsewhere building debts up for another football team – no doubt the partners here will be the same. It’s just a shame that they cannot be relegated from Partner status back to clerks themselves and then receive the same treatment as their staff, from whom I understand (I am an ex-employee left 2007) were treated disgracefully in the last few months with no confirmation of what was likely to happen until the very last day when the administrators appeared on site. Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 21:20 Volume conveyancing is not the future It just goes to show – good business is not all about turnover and profit. Its basis is quality advice and client care. Turn over and profit will always follow. Goodluck to all those redundant FH employees. As one door closes hopefully another will soon open and you may enter a nicer room! Reply Link Anonymous 20 January 2009 at 22:25 Disgraceful The manager in the article is right, and this has clearly been on the cards for some time. I too used to work at this firm and find myself sorely disappointed at accounts of how many ex-colleagues and friends were treated during the final months. Reply Link Anonymous 21 January 2009 at 13:56 Hunted Fox As a previous employee of the firm, I am sad to see it go, more so for those who have lost their jobs. The MD of the firm has had one thing in mind from day one, filling his own pockets with cash. Whilst the fat cats sat in their offices, or lunched on the company, it was those who are now left with nothing that kept the firm going and making its massive annual turnover. I hope the MD sleeps well in his bed knowing how terribly he and the rest of the board who jumped ship have treated those who put him at the top. Reply Link Anonymous 21 January 2009 at 14:00 So not surprised As an ex employee (luckily for me I got out in 2006 and am now very happy!) many very greedy partners at this firm with no respect for anyone apart from their pockets and themselves! I just feel for the staff and hope the ones who have lost their jobs get on their feet again soon. Reply Link A very upset and poor clerk!!! 21 January 2009 at 14:22 Jumping Ship The last employees left at Fox Hayes feel betrayed as the managing partner and others jumped ship as Fox Hayes was going down, we were hoping that the sale to Lupton Fawcett would help the transactional and remortgage departments to stay afloat, The other departments physically moved to Lupton Fawcetts on the 5th January only 9 days before the remortgage department was told to go home and 11 days before the transactional. Something does not ring quite true here Reply Link Anonymous 21 January 2009 at 14:24 Disgusted I can’t believe how they treated a relative of mine. She worked there from the start and now she has been thrown out with the rubbish. I can’t believe the way people have been treated. Throughout the whole process the so-called Managers have been safe. I hope she can go on to find another job, no thanks to Fox **** Hayes. P.S the Family Solicitor was rubbish and thanks to him I know have an ex who is nothing but trouble—surprise surprise he is now sitting comfortably at another Leeds Firm. In the words of my Law Tutor ”The Law is an Ass” Reply Link Anonymous 21 January 2009 at 16:44 Boom and Bust As a High Street conveyancer watching the conveyancing warehouses go bust at least makes my staff’s jobs more secure – for the time being. And it establishes a business model when work picks up – set up a factory to do the bulk work on price irrespective of quality and milk it, then when the downturn hits put the company in to liquidation and move back to the comfort of a Partnership in a reputable practice, free of the debts, while the staff end up on the dole and the creditors go bust. Reply Link Devils Advocate 21 January 2009 at 17:53 Partners Why are the Partners greedy? The blame lies solely with the 3 decision making partners, not all the partners, who have LOST all the money they put in and never had a say in how the firm was run. Sorry to all those who have lost their jobs however the rest of Fox Hayes never had a choice in moving to Lupton, and even if they did, would they choose to go on the dole? Are their mortgages and bills less important? Reply Link Anonymous 21 January 2009 at 19:16 Thank you! Thank you to all the people who have commented and wished the ex-employee’s good luck. I was one of the 100+ staff that lost their job last week. I was a team leader that managed a team of “clerks”, amongst my team were people who have mortgages/rent and children to look after. The whole experience has been tough and upsetting for everyone especially the one’s who do have children. Needless to say…the comments that have been made regarding the fact that there was only a few solicitors left at FH and the rest were just “clerks” makes me angry. Clerks are just as important as solicitors but regardless to that they also have responsibilities and feelings. It’s as though they are trying to justify what they have done by saying there was only a few solicitors left. My thoughts on the partners and MD…well i’m sure you can all imagine. The way they handled this i found was extremely unprofessional and not sympathetic at all towards the staff. It was all over in less than 48 hours. We worked as normal on the Monday until about 3.40pm when they let everyone go until Wednesday morning when it was confirmed by David Wilson (who was also not very sympathetic towards staff) that the company had gone into administration and all contract of employment had been cut. I just wish all the ex-employee’s the best of luck with finding a new job as i have found this very difficult to do so far!!! Fingers crossed something will turn up!! Reply Link Anonymous 22 January 2009 at 12:14 Not unexpected I am so sorry for all the people who have lost their jobs.The firm has always been badly managed in my opinion and never was ever going to make it to the Premiership whatever certain people thought. Bob the Builder, are you PD as your comment sounds just like him? This is not unexpected though esepcially given the FSA fine and the fact they they grew far too quickly in the conveyancing field. I am not surprised that the partners have looked after themselves before their staff. Reply Link Leanne 22 January 2009 at 19:36 RE: ‘Scummy Ba****rds!! If you’ve got something to say about how badly you think you were treated then you could at least give your name instead of staying ‘annoymous’ 3 words GROW A PAIR! Reply Link Anonymous 23 January 2009 at 11:59 legal advice to all those who have lost your jobs I would be going to seek legal advice. if you cannot afford it, it costs aproximately £10 a month to join a union. Join one NOW and then make an appointment to go and see someone. I promise you, they will help you and I would have thought there would be some action that could be taken. How about one union rep for a group of you. Safety in numbers and so on. Reply Link Foxy 26 January 2009 at 00:29 ‘Grow a pair???’ Now Leanne, let’s see… you do remind me of someone… how is your mother by the way? How is she sleeping at night? As for our collective anonymity, mindful that you don’t confuse “cowardice” with the reluctance to appear associated in any fashion with the tarnished debarcle and disaster-in-waiting that was Fox Hayes, or the true cowards here – those very lowly scumbags who have left the women and children on the sunken vessel and sailed off in the liferafts. A word of warning to those who remain within the fold – he who lies for you, will lie against you. Reply Link Leanne 26 January 2009 at 20:27 RE:foxy ‘Grow a pair’ My mother’s fine thank you for asking, she sleeps perfectly well at night as her conscience is clear because she’s done nothing wrong. She was also made redundant like you and still has a family to support, the only difference being is she did something about it! im sure you’d do the same! Reply Link Anonymous 27 January 2009 at 12:40 Thats Life To all those made redundant I wish you all good luck in finding a new job. I was also made redundant at the same time, worked till the very end and then being told we cant afford you. It is funny how the part of the firm that was sold to Lupton Fawcett jumped ship, the partners where happy when they were being carried by the property departments, has soon as that went down the pan, the other departments couldnt bring enough in to cover the others. Its one rule for one and another for the partners. The partners certainly creamed it, all new snazzy cars and new homes, well we know what theey say about little men with big cars. I was shoked to hear about the new firm, but as we all realise it is a dog eat dog world and you do have to take of yourselve and in these hard times we have to take work where we can get it. I wait til the day the partners get the just deserts… soon. Reply Link David 27 January 2009 at 14:40 Grow up All this resentful talk of what evil people the partners are completely misses the point that they are the owners of the business in the first place. The fact that they organised things in a way to make more money than the people that are simply employees is fair enough: they own it and took the risks of setting it up. All employees did was join for a guaranteed salary – nothing ventured, but something gained (for a while). Reply Link Anonymous 27 January 2009 at 22:34 Reality check All those that have posted ridiculous comments about the partners – how many of you have taken a risk and built your own businesses and employed other people? In any business failure, employees lose their jobs (and this is harsh) however, the owners lose a lot more financially. For those that haven’t noticed – the economy is under huge pressure and many more businesses are going to fail but it doesn’t help to blame owners who did their best to employ people and pay salaries in the good times. Reply Link Anonymous 28 January 2009 at 10:44 Keira Hart Its all well and good saying ‘those porr partners’ but everyone knows that the partners at Fox Hayes have lived the high life for a number of years on the back of the firm. They were the ones who borrowed so heavily in the first place, they saw the writing on the wall in November and left for Lupton Fawcett. If they had closed in November, would they have been able to pay their staff what they owed them? It should also be noted that the exisitng Lupton Fawcett staff are less than impressed with their new colleagues who have come into the firm in more senior positions and what happens when there is not enough work to go round at LF which is not an unlikely event? Reply Link Anonymous 28 January 2009 at 18:07 Who’s ya momma? Leanne – who’s your mother? I’m curious Reply Link Kirstie 28 January 2009 at 19:01 Very scared for the future I dont want to use this space as an agressive or angry outlet nor is this email directed at anyone in particular. I was one of the un-fortunate ones to be made redundant 2 weeks ago. Im 12 weeks pregnant and Iam terrified about how I will cope without a job. I havent been paid since 22nd December, most of which went on bills/mortgage and xmas. In this current job market and given my circumstances I really dont think I will find an employer willing to take me on. I have only £7 in my bank account, I have signed up for job seekers but they are still assesing how much I will receive, because my partner works, they say it wont be much. I lay awake at night worriying about what Iam going to do. For the record I feel very let down by the way we were treated but what happened, happened and I cant change it. I had worked for Fox Hayes and can honestly say I gave 110% every single day. I wish all the un-employed the best of luck as Im sure most will need it as its more frightening than I ever could have imagined. Reply Link anon 28 January 2009 at 19:09 Help does anyone know of any jobs? Reply Link Debbi McCauley 29 January 2009 at 13:51 Reply to “Reality Check” posted 27 Jan As an ex employee I am no longer amazed (but disgusted) at the action of the partners and managers at Fox Hayes. I went to work in their Chapeltown sweatshop in July 2002 and all I ever heard was about the new building being built and how wonderful it was going to be when we were all together there. Over and over this message was enforced – it was going to be great! It is absurd and disgraceful to insinuate that staff take a chance when they join a firm, just in case it goes bust in a couple of months! I stayed at Foxys for several years because it seemed to be a firm that was going places, and the message constantly was that it was going to get better and better! We would all be rewarded for our hard work in appalling conditions! I REALLY WANT TO EMPHASISE THIS. Fortunately for me I got out before even getting a sniff of the wonderful new building I’d helped to build. And I will never forget Drazen standing smugly in front of us all at the end of year meeting 2005, saying (yes I know I’m repeating myself) “WORK HARD FOR US AND WE’LL TAKE CARE OF YOU!”). As for the decampment of the big guns to Lupton Fawcett – please don’t try to tell me they didn’t know what was going to happen to the pitiful remnants of the conveyancing part they so blithely left behind, who were still working their socks off. Reply Link Anonymous 29 January 2009 at 17:46 Reply to Debbi You say you are disgusted at the partners and managers? Do you think they are responsible for the state of the UK economy? Consider what happened at Hammonds Direct and what will no doubt happen with most of the volume property firms. The market has collapsed and I don’t see how anybody can blame managers and partners for the state of the UK economy. If economy was still strong then all the staff would be working in the new building you mentioned and would be delighted with the partners! It seems obvious to me that the partners must have personally lost a lot of money with the collapse of the property work. Do you think it is easy to let or sell a building in this economic climate? Surely its better that the jobs of a lot of the support staff were saved by the move to Luptons? Reply Link Debbi McCauley 31 January 2009 at 12:59 Reply to Anonymous (29 Jan) Pity you are too afraid to say your name! An ex-director perhaps? You’ve totally (deliberately?) missed the point of my posting. The partners who departed for Luptons knew damn well what was going to happen to what was left of the conveyancing part of the business and still abandoned them without a care. There was plenty of high living in those foxy high ranks and if some of the so-and-so’s have lost money they’ll soon make it up again with a few more devious deals. The whole affair is disgraceful and my heart goes out to those left so suddenly wageless and jobless. Reply Link Anonymous 3 February 2009 at 15:50 Reply to Debbi I am certainly not an ex director and have never been associated with the firm. I agree fully with your sentiments regarding the employees left wage-less and jobless. But I still think you are missing the point. If the directors and managers had stayed, how on earth would this have saved the jobs of those now wage-less and jobless? It seems clear to me that the wage-less and jobless are those formerly involved in the volume Conveyancing business. Such business has disappeared – not only for Fox Hayes but for other firms such as Hammonds Direct. It’s the same for workers in the motor industry. Do you blame the bosses or the collapse in car sales? I think it’s pointless trying to attribute blame. The economy is in a mess and lots of people are suffering. Would those employees fell better if even more of their ex colleagues were suffering alongside them? Reply Link Dan 3 February 2009 at 17:23 Debi/Anonymous reply I think the point Debi is trying to make, and correct me if I’m wrong is that why should the Directors walk away with their pockets lined with cash and the staff be left with nothing. Yes I agree that they invested into the business and they deserve a return, however they made the risks of investing and should accept the downfalls of that. At the end of the day, it was them that took the risk of investing not the staff. The Directors should of done some moral good and given their hard working and loyal staff what they deserve, after all, it was the staffs hard work that help fill those pockets with cash. Reply Link Anonymous 4 February 2009 at 09:32 Reply to Dan Common sense dictates that the Directors would have lost a fortune so I don’t know how you can suggest “they lined their pockets with cash”. I agree with your analysis of risk and reward and accepting the downfalls. Having been involved with administrations, I can assure you that the only people that gain are the administrators – owners, directors and employees very rarely see any benefit from remaining assets. The bottom line is that a number of employees (directors included) managed to secure positions elsewhere. Surely this is what everybody should be trying to do? What is the point of even more people being left unemployed? The economy is harsh and a lot of people are suffering. People need to focus their efforts on getting jobs rather than trying to attribute blame. Blame may make them feel better temporarily but it is not very constructive and doesn’t put food on the table. Reply Link Kirstie 4 February 2009 at 12:07 harsh words Hi Dan further to my post on 28th January below, I feel that most of the ex-employees ARE looking for work and are not trying to attribute blame. Please do not kick us whilst we are down by suggesting otherwise. Believe me looking for a job is a demoralising and miserable process. I have a degree and qualified upto LPC standard yet I cant even find a supermarket that is hiring let alone get anything in a legal field. Just asking that you use a little tact when mentioning ‘people’. Thanking you in advance. Reply Link kirstie 4 February 2009 at 12:09 Apologies Apologies my previous remark was directed at anonymous and NOT Dan. Reply Link Anonymous 5 February 2009 at 21:48 Reply to Kirstie Hi Kirstie. Best of luck with your endeavours. Hope you find something soon. I understand fully that all unemployed – from Fox Hayes and elsewhere are in a very difficult position. Our economy is in a complete mess and even people who were considered well-to-do until recently have seen their wealth wiped out. In the legal field, I think all firms will be very cautious about entering the high-volume Conveyancing arena again. With the wisdom of hindsight, it is just too risky. Reply Link Anonymous 22 February 2009 at 19:40 good luck i used to work for fox hayes and i would just like to say good luck to those who have found it hard getting another job it is demoralising especially waking up to rejection letters, luckily i managed to find one a month later so it is possible, even though the economy is taking a major downfall there is a shimmer of hope somewhere. Reply Link BM 3 March 2009 at 18:55 Reply to Annonymous I too worked for Fox Hayes, having moved from one of the major players in the volume conveyancing market. I agree with annonymous concerning the fact that the partners/directors can’t be held responsible for the state of the economy. As you say, a lot of firms are struggling at the moment. What I think you’re failing to grasp is the way that the staff were treated by the big wigs before the fit hit the shan. I have honestly never worked in a company that was so badly managed and had so little concern for it’s employees well-being. Luckily I got out just before the company went down and have since managed to find another job. People accept that job losses are sometimes unavoidable but the way Fox Hayes handled the issue was disgraceful and leaves a somewhat bitter taste. To the likes of Kirstie, and others who have been left up the creek without a paddle, hang in there, jobs are out there and I know that the majority of “clerks” were highly capable and will find something. On the bright side, I’m confident that you will never find another company as bad as Fox Hayes were. Reply Link Anonymous 25 May 2009 at 11:26 Learning of this failure comes as no surprise; Fox Hayes was always rotten to the core. I spent a year working there and certain ‘managers’ made my life a living hell. My only regret is that I did not take them to the employment tribunal while I had the chance. I certainly hope that they get what they deserve. To those that have been left stranded and jobless, my sympathies and best wishes go out to you. You did not deserve this treatment but then again, when did Fox Hayes ever offer support, credit or thanks for the hard work done by the lowly support staff? I would dearly love to put my name to this comment as I do not wish to hide behind anonymity but I now have a sucessful career at the Bar and would hate to think that anyone would ever even associate my name with the lack of professionalism that is, or was, Fox Hayes. Reply Link ABC 24 November 2009 at 20:34 I have worked for the firm for 7 years. I don’t know the ins and outs..the facts, the lies…I dont care. It’s been 10 months of looking for parttime work, to no avil. Luckily Im in a position where financially I’m ok but feel this could have been prevented. I was one of the ones who was literally booted out. I couldnt give a crap about how the big boys needed to look after their business or their financial situation….I couldn’t give to hoots. ALL I wanted to know was I was going to be made redundant, that I wasnt going to be paid, oh and that I had to go through government to get redundancy money. As a ‘Clerk’ who, in fact worked with the clients, like most staff on lower wages worked our bollocks off to meet our deadlines and we never whinged about it. To ashamed to tell us. Stringing us along, getting what they could from us, knowing we didn’t know what was around the corner, I had NO idea when I went in that Monday we were going to be jobless, no idea. It’s ok….have you seen a few of the partners? Money carn’t help all the time. Reply Link Anonymous 24 November 2009 at 20:49 Yep, I was one of those clerks left like a pile of turd, basically. A big fat thank you and oozes of respect for telling us on the day to basically f@ck off. This could have been handled like normal human beings. Didn’t they learn anything at University? As for being a clerk…we all did the work the partners probably couldnt do…communication wasn’t their strong point. Im still jobless after 10 months, luckily Im ok financially..so they did me a favour as my children benefit at the moment. Enjoy your lovely holidays, posh cars, women who (cough cough) wouldnt look twice otherwise.- How would they manage living in a 2 bedroom house like me and holidaying in Blackpool…dear me! Reply Link Anonymous 25 November 2009 at 11:05 It is common knowledge that property work is now commoditised. Anyone who works in property should therefore expect to be considered expendable. If people chose to work in property then they should accept that they are doing cheap commoditised work. The implications are obvious. Reply Link The guy who worked his balls off 4 January 2010 at 18:02 It’s taken me 12 months to recover. I still have nightmares about PD. It’s the same nightmare every single night. He’s dressed as a spanish waiter saying “we’ve turned the corner, everything is going to be all right” then he starts laughing and sacks us all. Reply Link Anonymous 11 January 2010 at 21:32 i worked for the firm for nearly 3 yrs and even in this short space of time it was very easy for me to tell that all the partners etc were bothered about was making money!! they didnt give a rats ass about their staff!!!! and i would just like to say that my fat manager was a total bitch!!!!! we all hated her!!! Reply Link Name Email Cancel reply Threaded commenting powered by interconnect/it code.