Relationship breakdown

“All happy families resemble one another, but each unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

Tolstoy could have had law firms in mind.

While happy outfits show like-mindedness in areas such as outsourcing and transatlantic mergers, the legal profession’s most dysfunctional (former) member is continuing to show itself to be unlike any other.

The latest twist in Halliwells’ implosion (which, if added to the rest, would probably take up as many pages as a Russian novel) involves former fixed-share partners looking to sue the collapsed firm’s ex-equity partners for making misleading statements in a bid to get non-equity partners to invest in the business (see story).

“I think it’s highly likely there will be litigation,” said one former partner.

A nice long read would probably be of great use to the former partners looking to sue, as they join the back of a very long line of creditors left out of pocket by Halliwells.

Given that they’ll be coming up against their defiant former managing partner Ian Austin (see story), something like War and Peace could be in order.


In The Lawyer on Monday: We’re off to Wales, interviewing the new legal chief at the Welsh Rugby Union and the chief legal adviser to the Welsh Assembly Government; a behind-the-scenes look at the lawyers involved in the Almatis restructuring; and guess which firm is getting into outsourcing.


Also on Bad Law on the Twitter joke trial; Bakers opens 68th office; a Swedish mega-merger; and e-disclosure is here.

The Lawyer’s sister title Lawyer 2B is launching a new event for mature applicants. ’Not too Late for Law’, to be hosted in conjunction with the College of Law’s Moorgate branch, is aimed at anyone who is seriously considering retraining as a lawyer along with mature students who are currently studying law or on the LPC or GDL. The event will take place on 1 December at 5.30pm. For more information visit

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