BDO administrators seal pre-pack deal at Halliwells

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

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.

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