Burges Salmon and Halliwells – a tale of two cultures

It’s not often that we get to praise the philanthropy of the legal profession.

Away from a cursory nod in the direction of CSR by planting a few fair trade lemon trees in a Tower Hamlets primary school, most firms are too busy monitoring their falling profit margins to notice the little people.

But take a bow, Burges Salmon & senior partner Stephen McNulty. The Bristolians have dusted off their life rafts and tossed them a couple of hundred miles north in the direction of the 50 or so trainees abandoned following the Halliwells debacle (see story).

McNulty’s initiative in setting up what effectively amounts to a dating agency for wannabe trainees now relies on a speedy take-up by his peers.

It’s a “litmus test for decency,” says McNulty. A word that, strangely, few commentators have uttered in their assessments of Halliwells’ own management team.

Halliwells’ former managing partner Ian Austin, meanwhile, has been busy defending his management of the now failed firm (see story).

“I worked my bloody socks off for that firm,” says the man who has managed to negotiate a new job for himself over at Heatons.

Maybe Heatons will sign up to McNulty’s scheme?


Also on TheLawyer.com: Was Halliwells all about the money?; our Middle East special report; no more flex at Pinsents; and why US lawyers are preparing for Dodd-Frank deluge.