Hammonds partner David Armitage has stepped down from the Hammonds Direct partnership committee while it tries to settle a property dispute with the law firm, where he is also a partner.

Armitage, who is a member of Hammonds Direct’s five-partner winding down committee, has decided not to be part of the subcommittee established to resolve a dispute revealed by The Lawyer last week (1 June) over who is liable for the lease on the building used by Hammonds Direct.

Hammonds served ­Hammonds Direct partners with a pre-action letter last month in an attempt to make the partners of the failed conveyancing ­business pay for the lease on Bradford’s Pennine House.

In an email sent to all Hammonds Direct partners, committee member Mark Hilton, who is now a partner at Addleshaw Goddard, said: “The committee and David feels that he should not be directly involved in responding to or dealing with the claim that has been made. We have accordingly set up a subcommittee from which David is being ­excluded so we can respond to the claim.”

Hilton added that the subcommittee was seeking further legal opinion on the lease obligation dispute.

Twenty out of 41 Hammonds Direct shareholders are partners at Hammonds.