Norton Rose, Wacks Caller left in the lurch by “Plumber’s” bankruptcy

Norton Rose and Wacks Caller must wait to see whether or not they can recoup debts from former client Paul Davidson, the bankrupt businessman known as ‘The Plumber’.

Following proceedings brought against him by Wacks Caller, Davidson was declared bankrupt on 22 December last year, just a week after Norton Rose secured an order for sale on his mansion in Prestbury. He owes the City firm at least £800,000 after it represented him in high court litigation in 2003.

Due to the order for sale, the firm is a secured creditor and is pursuing it in accordance with the order’s terms, which give Davidson a matter of months to sell his house. Litigation partner Anthony Dutton is dealing with the case.

Meanwhile Wacks Caller is owed around £150,000 by Davidson in fees for litigation in 2003 and 2004. Litigation partner Christopher Sorrell confirmed that the firm has no secured charges on the debt and must wait to see how much can be recouped.

Norton Rose will also have to join the queue of creditors to the extent that the proceeds of the sale fall short of Davidson’s debts.

Accountants PKF have been appointed as trustees to investigate Davidson’s financial affairs, and are expected to instruct more than one solicitors’ firm to look into his dealings. Liabilities are estimated as being in excess of £20m.