White & Bowker apologises to Fladgate

Winchester-firm White & Bowker, which approached doz-ens of companies allegedly tak-en from a confidential Fladgate Fielder client list, has been forced to send letters of apology.

The embarrassing climbdown comes only three weeks after White & Bowker told The Lawyer that it expected a large number of clients to join them from Fladgates' Basingstoke office following the move of property partners John Russell and John Bates this year.

According to a writ, White & Bowker obtained the client list earlier this year and wrote letters offering legal services to clients including Digital Equipment and Fibrenet.

Fladgates retaliated with a High Court writ demanding that White & Bowker return the list and be restrained from making approaches.

Agreement has now been reached between the firms. White & Bowker are paying £5000 in costs and writing apol-ogies to the clients it contacted.

Grahame Short, chairman of White & Bowker said: “In order to assist in the smooth transition of clients and matters that will be following John Russell to White & Bowker, a small number of clients were contacted. We are very hopeful that the majority of clients will continue to instruct John Russell.”

A Fladgates spokesman confirmed action had been taken against a salaried partner and White & Bowker for breach of confidence.

Kaufman Kramer Shebson, which has been acquired by Fladgates, have eight partners, not two as reported in The Lawyer last week.