End of Franks Charlesly is blamed on “overreaction'

A SALARIED partner at disintegrating London firm Franks Charlesly has blamed its plight on the “overreaction” of its 82-year-old senior partner Jack Franks to a key equity partner's decision to resign.

The crisis at the 14-partner firm, which is to dissolve in September, was precipitated in May when Franks reacted to the decision of equity partner Philip Enoch to join Salans Hertfeld Heilbronn HRK by announcing the firm's impending dissolution.

But conveyancing partner Malcolm Brahams – who is leaving with litigation partner Stuart Killen to join London firm David Wineman – told The Lawyer last week that the dissolution of the firm was “unpleasant and unnecessary”.

He accused Jack Franks of “overreacting” to Enoch's decision to leave.

Brahams said that there was a lot of ill-feeling towards the firm's three equity partners, Franks – who founded the firm in 1939 – his son Jeremy and Philip Enoch.

Last week, the Franks announced that they had joined Westminster firm Radcliffes as consultants with immediate effect. The Lawyer understands that the Franks' move came after merger talks with Radcliffes foundered.

Asked about the collapse of the firm, Jeremy Franks said: “It would not be constructive for me to comment.”

As for the suggestions of ill-feeling, he added: “There is a lot of mixed feelings in the firm, I can assure you.”

Jack Franks had originally announced on 12 May that the firm would be dissolved at the end of June, but this was changed to 30 September to allow merger talks to be pursued with a firm which is believed to be Radcliffes.

However, it is understood that many staff were soon openly looking to move elsewhere.

At least nine out of the 14 partners at Franks Charlesly are believed to have already found new firms, with other partners joining firms such as Davenport Lyons, Cannings Connolly and J Benning & Peltz.