BDO administrators seal pre-pack deal at Halliwells

by Rachael Singh

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22 Jul 2010

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BDO administrators have conducted the pre-pack administration of Top 50 law firm Halliwells.

Dermot Power and Shay Bannon of BDO were appointed joint administrators of Halliwells on 20 July.

Following the pre-pack deal, Power, warned professional firms they need to pay "far greater" attention to "cash management" in the future.

Power said some of the reasons behind Halliwells' collapse was due to the rise in its property obligations in recent years. This placed a "significant" increase on operating costs. Coupled together with the decrease in transactional activity, the firm was under cash flow and partnership resource pressures.

“Other professional firms will have to pay far greater attention to management, and particularly cash management, following the stress-testing of an LLP framework which has been less than robust,” he said.

As part of the pre-pack Hill Dickinson bought Halliwells' 19 partner Liverpool office, and the remains of its Sheffield practice. Hill also recruited Halliwells' managing partner Jonathan Brown. The firm forecasts a predicted fee income of £105m against it's previous fiscal year's fee income of £87m Legal Week reports.

HBJ Gateley Wareing purchased the commercial practice in Manchester taking on approximately 200 staff including 40 former Halliwells partners. Law firm Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) bought the insurance arm of the Manchester practice, including 238 staff and 17 partners.

The London office has been split between HBJ and BLG.

Partners Catherine Moss and Richard Slaven join Fasken Martineau and Pinset Masons respectively.

Further reading:

Vantis enters administration

Forge Dam call in KPMG administrators

Alexandra plc collapses- PwC called in

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