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Winning work: TLT picks up Halliwells dispute as Irwin Mitchell loses out

TLT has been gifted with a key mandate to defend a group of 26 former Halliwells partners in a dispute with the firm’s liquidator, as well as the appeal of a further case involving nine other former partners, after Irwin Mitchell was dropped from both cases.

The dispute, which has been ongoing for five years, involves an argument with the Manchester-based law firm’s liquidator over liabilities related to its collapse in 2010.

The liquidator is seeking millions of pounds from the now defunct firm’s former fixed share partners, following claims that those members had knowledge of the firm’s insolvency prior to it entering a formal administration process.

TLT commercial litigation partner John Lord, who joined the firm from Irwin Mitchell in 2013, is lead partner on the case. Addleshaw Goddard is acting for the liquidator, BDO, with Alison Goldthorp leading.

Manchester-based restructuring partner John Vickery had previously acted for Irwin Mitchell on the case, alongside fellow restructuring partner Chris Jones who left the firm in 2013 to join gunnercooke.

TLT, with Julien Luke as lead, has also picked up the instruction on the appeal of a High Court decision in October which saw Irwin Mitchell successfully act for Steven Fennell. The former Halliwells partner won a declaration to prevent a claim from the liquidators of £125,000 for alleged overdrawings and the case was used as a test for eight other partners – Judith Bloor, Cameron Clarke, Niall Edwards, David Fearon, Suzanne Liversidge, Helen Snowball, Heidi Swales and Gregor Woods – who all left Halliwells for Kennedys and who all agreed to be bound by the decision.

Irwin Mitchell instructed Jonathan Adkin QC of Serle Court, while Addleshaw Goddard represented Halliwells and its liquidators, and instructed Lexa Hilliard QC of 11 Stone Buildings.