And so Halliwells is finding this week.
Speculation about Halliwells circling Manches has swirled for some time, but as we reveal today, Manches – after exploratory discussions with the Manchester-headquartered firm – is backing out of talks (see story).
But does Halliwells know? According to sources in the north, Halliwells is under the impression that the talks are ongoing and there’s a meeting next week.
According to Manches sources the firm sent out an email yesterday to staff saying any deal was not on the cards, although it will still meet with Halliwells to try to acquire the most profitable parts of its business, thereby neatly turning the tables.
It’s not surprising that Manches is having second thoughts about a full merger. Observers of the firm will know that the last thing its partners want to do is antagonise the powerful family practice led by Lady Helen Ward.
Halliwells should remember one thing: never get on the wrong side of a divorce lawyer.