Hammonds settles four cases and sues 14 ex-partners

Hammonds settled with at least four of its former partners before kicking off its £3m profits dispute against 14 other ex-partners in June, it is understood.

One former partner told The Lawyer that there were originally around 18 ex-partners that the firm was originally looking to sue.

“I know of at least four, however, that managed to come to some arrangement with Hammonds,” said the lawyer.

The news comes as the court documents for Hammonds’ claim were made public this month.

Hammonds claims that the ex-partners owe the firm money for overdrawings on anticipated profits over a two-year period – the 2003-04 and 2004-05 financial years.

The claim form, issued on 11 June, names the 14 partners and the sums that Hammonds is seeking to reap back from them.

Former construction head David Jones, who retired in 2004, has the largest demand of any individual at £378,590, while former competition chief Stephen Tupper, now at Watson Farley & Williams, had the smallest claim against him at £92,642.

Of the other 12 claims, Hammonds is seeking more than £200,000 from seven partners and more than £14,000 from the other five.

Hammonds is seeking to claim a daily rate of interest from each of the defendants, with the clock already ticking until the date of resolution.

Hammonds, which has instructed Alan Steinfeld QC of XXIV Old Buildings, is also seeking, further or in the alternative to this daily interest rate, 8 per cent on the total sum owed by each defendant.

Nine of the 14 former partners, all of whom have Addleshaw Goddard representing them in the Hammonds claim, on 26 June issued proceedings against their former firm in relation to their right to inspect certain partnership documents, which they claim was denied.

A Hammonds spokesperson said the firm will not be commenting on any aspect of the case.