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Addleshaws settles £5m arbitration against former partner

Management at Addleshaw Goddard has settled arbitration proceedings against former head of real estate Mark Haywood, two years after he quit for Nabarro.

While the details of the case against former partner Haywood were made public after managing partner John Joyce circulated the information in a board report in October next year, the case has since been settled. The dispute was valued at £5m, which Nabarro had agreed to cover the costs of.

Nabarro recruited Haywood for the launch of its Manchester office alongside partners Nathan Jansen and Monica Brij in 2014.

Addleshaws had instructed XXIV Old Buildings’ Alan Steinfield QC, while Haywood was represented by Lewis Silkin and Serle Court’s John Machell QC. The usual grounds for suing partners for damages include loss of future revenue or loss of a key client.

Since Haywood’s departure, Addleshaws has tightened the rules around partner exits. The firm’s original partnership deed had a ‘bottleneck provision’, which meant no more than seven equity partners could leave without board consent in one financial year. However, earlier this year the firm changed the provision to extend it to fixed-share, or ‘category A’ partners. Other changes include the introduction of ‘bad leaver’ provisions and restrictive covenants relating to fee-earners.

Addleshaws has since bolstered its real estate practice significantly by taking advantage of partner exits at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) European practice.

At the end of 2016 the firm hired former managing partner William Boss, as well as property partner Simon Tager and commercial real estate partner Michael Scott. It also hired commercial real estate managing associate Luke Harvey who joins as a partner. The combined fee earning potential of that group is almost £5m.

This month the firm also hired KWM construction specialist Julia Court, who had also been a partner at legacy SJ Berwin.

Addleshaws and Nabarro declined to comment.

Read more in: ‘Welcome to the John Joyce show: Addleshaws’ head aims to push national firm centre stage’