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Halliwells LLP was an English law firm practising from offices in Manchester, London, Liverpool and Sheffield, with 116 partners and over 600 employees [1].

On 20 July 2010 Halliwells the High Court made an order putting Halliwells into administration. Dermot Power and Shay Bannon of BDO LLP were appointed administrators [1]. Halliwells' practice was sold as a pre-packaged insolvency to four other firms: Hill Dickinson, Barlow Lyde and Gilbert, Gateley, and Kennedys [2].

At the time, this was the largest English law firm to go into administration [3].

The administrators initially blamed market conditions and high rents for the firm's failure [4]. An additional factor behind the firm's failure was a property transaction connected to Halliwells' decision to become an anchor tenant in the Spinningfields business development in Manchester[5]. The firm received a reverse premium of £20 million from the landlord, which was shared between the firm's 32 equity partners, who each took between £250,000 and £1 million. This was kept secret from the junior partners [3]. The administrators have sued the 32 recipients [6] and have alleged that Halliwells’ equity partners altered the minutes of a meeting about the s reverse premium before passing them on to the rest of the firm [7]. There has been an attempt to resolve the dispute by mediation [8][9].

In March 2012 36 of the former junior partners who were not told about the reverse premium threatened to sue the 32 equity partners who took the £20 million [10].

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 http://www.bailii.org/cgi-bin/markup.cgi?doc=/ew/cases/EWHC/Ch/2010/2036.html&query=halliwells&method=boolean
  2. http://www.insolvencynews.com/article/12586/corporate/halliwells-appoints-bdo-as-administrators
  3. 3.0 3.1 Aldridge, Alex (22 October 2010). "Corporate law firm undone by boom-era excess". The Guardian (online). http://www.guardian.co.uk/law/2010/oct/22/corporate-law-firms-boom-era-excess. Retrieved 6 June 2012. , http://www.lawgazette.co.uk/news/halliwells-becomes-biggest-casualty-recession
  4. http://www.accountancyage.com/aa/news/1809205/bdo-administrators-seal-pre-pack-deal-halliwells
  5. http://www.ft.com/cms/s/0/57798d36-321b-11e0-a820-00144feabdc0.html#axzz1xngTltXc
  6. http://www.thelawyer.com/former-halliwells-partners-to-repay-£204m-spinningfields-windfall/1008279.article
  7. http://www.thelawyer.com/explosive-allegations-surface-in-halliwells-court-case/1012230.article
  8. http://www.thelawyer.com/addleshaw-goddard-plays-host-to-halliwells-mediation/1012265.article
  9. "Former Halliwells partners in £21m mediation talks". Manchester Evening News (Business). 19 April 2012. http://menmedia.co.uk/manchestereveningnews/news/business/professionals/s/1491668_former-halliwells-partners-in-21m-mediation-talks. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
  10. "Chamber boss and lawyers in fight over £21m deal". The Yorkshire Post. 14 March 2012. http://www.yorkshirepost.co.uk/news/at-a-glance/main-section/chamber-boss-and-lawyers-in-fight-over-21m-deal-1-4341441. Retrieved 6 June 2012. 
This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Halliwells LLP, that was deleted or is being discussed for deletion, which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License.
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