Legal Business

Rest in pieces

Reckless ambition, inept management and greed: a case study in how not to run a law firm

In February 2009, this magazine published a cover feature charting Halliwells’ dramatic fall from grace. Entitled ‘The Flight of Icarus’ (see LB191), it revealed how, through what proved to be a fatal combination of reckless ambition, ineptitude and greed, the firm’s management had scuppered what formerly ranked as one of the UK’s fastest growing and most promising names.

Thanks to a series of ill-judged strategic decisions – such as a controversial property deal that saw the equity partners share a secret £15m kickback – Halliwells had, in the space of a few short years, gone from being debt-free to teetering on the brink of financial collapse.