Law Society names firms on intervention panel

Eversheds, Hammonds and Hill Dickinson are among 25 firms picked as part of the Law Society’s new panel of intervention agents that will help wind up solicitors’ practices that have been closed down for disciplinary reasons.

The agents have been selected following a competitive tender process resulting in new appointments for several firms. Eversheds, Blake Lapthorn Linnell and North West firm Laytons are among the new appointments.

The firms act as the Law Society’s agents when an ’intervention’ takes place. This can be because the society suspects that client money may be at risk, or for other disciplinary offences.

Files and money are seized and the panel firm then takes over the running of the practice, winding-up its activities and ensuring that clients are represented in ongoing matters if necessary.

The panel covers all of England and Wales, and firms range in size from six-partner outfits Osbornes and Raworths up to Eversheds.

Eversheds’ head of fraud and financial crime Gerallt Owen said the firm was “delighted to be on the panel”.

The tender process took place three years after the Law Society slashed the number of agents it uses from more than 80 to 24. Sources said the panel review, which was open to all applicants, was rigorous.

Work resulting from intervention work is understood to be remunerated at a “reasonable” rate for assistants and any support staff who may be involved, but partner rates are lower. In 2005, 60 interventions were carried out by the Law Society. The society holds in trust monies seized during an intervention.

The full panel consists of: Bevan Brittan, Durham firm Blackett Hart & Pratt, Blake Lapthorn Linnell, Manchester outfit Davis Blank Furniss, Devonshires, Eversheds, Foot Anstey Alms & Young, Hertfordshire firm Foreman Laws, Gordons, Grindeys in Stoke-on-Trent, Hammonds, Hill Dickinson, Uxbridge firm Iliffes Booth Bennett, Laytons, Martineau Johnson, Exeter’s Michelmores, Camden-based Osbornes, Penningtons, North Yorkshire practice Raworths, Putney firm Russell-Cooke, Nottinghamshire’s Shacklocks, Stanley Tee Solicitors in Hertfordshire, Vizards Wyeth, Kent firm Whitehead Monckton and Sussex firm Wynne Baxter.