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.
Steven Fennell, a former Halliwells partner, has won a High Court declaration that stops Halliwells’ liquidators’ claim of £125,000 against him for alleged overdrawings.
There’s nothing like a bit of schadenfreude when matters go awry and the collapse of Cobbetts as an independent entity has proved no exception. Since it was confirmed that the firm was to become the first major UK practice to fail since the 2010 break-up of its local rival Halliwells, plenty have claimed the end was inevitable and a direct result of over-reach.
With Cobbetts entering into administration, are we likely to see more law firms in trouble this year? Why?/Why not?
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.