The former managing partner of dissolved Milton Keynes firm Fennemores is facing a £2.4m lawsuit brought by seven of his former partners.
The seven, who are now working at three different local firms, claim that Martin Keeling “wrongfully removed a large quantity of client files from the offices of Fennemores” in breach of the demerger agreement entered into in February this year.
They are claiming a total of £2.4m in damages from Keeling and his new firm, MK Legal Solicitors, in respect of money they believe is accountable to Fennemores.
The case is the latest episode in a saga of defections and client losses that forced the dissolution of Fennemores earlier this year.
Simon Ingram, Rob Goffman and Chris Robinson joined Milton Keynes firm emw law in April this year after resigning from Fennemores in November 2005.
They were followed by Guy Brooks, Melissa Page and Anne McGuire, who left for Geoffrey Leaver in May, along with 23 assistants and paralegals and 10 support staff.
Ingram, Goffman, Robinson, Brooks and McGuire are all named as claimants in the claim against Keeling, which was filed at the end of August in the chancery division of the Royal Courts of Justice.
They are joined by fellow former Fennemores partners Raymond Sothcott and Andrew Ray, who went to Matthew Arnold & Baldwin.
The claimants are represented by Mills & Reeve partner Jamie Wheatley, instructing Enterprise Chambers’ Geoffrey Zelin.
Shoosmiths partner Angela Taylor is representing Keeling, instructing Andrew De La Rosa of 10 Old Square.
Wheatley and Taylor both declined to comment. Keeling did not return calls for comment.