Midlands firm Challinors is likely to be sold within the next fortnight, the new insolvency team administering the practice has told The Lawyer.
The national head of lender services at RSM Tenon – which took over from previous administrators KSA Group at the beginning of this month – said there is significant buyer interest from other law firms in picking up all or part of Challinors.
According to Andrew Hosking, the sale process is advancing steadily, with potential buyers split between those angling to buy the entire practice and those interested in specific parts.
However, Hosking also dismissed rumours swirling around the Birmingham legal sector that the administrators had potentially breached solicitors’ practice rules by touting a list of clients of the faltering firm in a bid to sell the practice.
Hosking, who is leading the administration of the firm on behalf of the firm’s bank, the Allied Irish, said it was “manifestly inaccurate to suggest we are bandying about client names and details”.
He said that all interested potential buyers must sign a non-disclosure agreement before being given “appropriate information and particulars”. Hosking confirmed that those particulars included some “non-specific client information,” but emphasised that the profession’s regulator was fully briefed about the process. “The Solicitors Regulation Authority is completely aware of how we are approaching this matter,” he said.
Fourteen-partner Challinors announced last month it was going into administration (24 July 2013). It has since emerged that the firm owes more than £11 million to a range of creditors, allegedly including two clients that lent a total of some £650,000 to the firm (30 July 2013).