Clients defend expelled Clarke Willmott partner

Accountancy firm Baker Tilly is to review its relationship with Clarke Willmott following the expulsion of long-serving partner Stephen Allinson.

Accountancy firm Baker Tilly is to review its relationship with Clarke Willmottfollowing the expulsion of long-serving partner Stephen Allinson, who has bagged a new role at Moon Beever.

Allinson, an insolvency partner, was expelled from the partnership last December amid allegations of financial irregularities in his expenses forms (The Lawyer, 28 January). His clients have now come out in force to defend Allinson’s reputation.

Baker Tilly head of personal insolvency Louise Brittain said she had forged a strong relationship with Allinson over the past 20 years and was committed to supporting him, adding: “I can’t believe there has been any purposeful wrongdoing at all – I’m slightly bemused by this. We’re reviewing our relationship with Clarke Willmott and will be taking this into consideration.”

Grant Thornton recovery and reorganisation partner Kevin Hellard said he had worked with Allinson since the early 1990s and was “very shocked” to hear of his expulsion. “He was a great ambassador to the firm,” he said.

Martin Pickard, a partner with auditors Mazars, said he held Allinson in the highest regard and would continue to instruct him in the future.

Allinson is joining Moon Beever as a consultant. Managing partner Frances Coulson said: “Stephen Allinson is a very good lawyer. We have no hesitation in taking him on.”

Sources close to Clarke Willmott said the dispute related to £3,000 worth of expenses claimed over three years.

Allinson is now understood to be seeking legal advice from employment law specialist James Williams of Archon.

Clarke Willmott declined to comment.