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Main Discussion

KWM pushes back admin back
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YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 11:51
I was amused by this from the Lawyer article:

"Meanwhile Addleshaw Goddard is advising KWM China on its potential purchase of a number of fee-earners and staff in London, Dubai, Italy, Germany and Spain."

What do you think is the price of slave Associate these days in the London slave markets. Do pretty trainees have a higher rate?
TDB
Posted - 10 January 2017 11:52
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Well the one in Dubai might be an actual slave market
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 11:57
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Support staff/ have been told they are will get paid this week but after that they don't know

and the story about the bog rolls is true

all the firm are getting are calls to the accounts dept from suppliers wanting payment
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 11:57
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Are there any lawyers still working there or have they all jumped ship now?
Parsnip
Posted - 10 January 2017 12:06
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I doubt there are too many people giving them instructions
Tom Linorder
Posted - 10 January 2017 12:20
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Must be like the Marie Celeste
Jethro the Fat White Duke
Posted - 10 January 2017 12:25
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There are quite a few lawyers still there. I am dealing with some of them.
Lydia
Posted - 10 January 2017 12:45
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I did check as to whether they owed me any money but their subscription to a journal ended a year ago so I'm in the clear.....
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 12:48
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Do they still owe you any travel expenses for the interview after which you nearly joined them despite their deciding not to make you an offer Lydia?
HawkHorseRobe
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:05
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Probably being thick here, but according to the Lawyer, staff have not been paid for the last week despite an earlier promise from management. If the firm can't pay debts as they fall due, why is it not already in administration?
chimes ♥
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:07
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Heh @ buzz
Consigliere
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:08
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heh@buzz
Used Psychology
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:09
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By "deal" do you mean offering tea and sympathy and DXing them loo roll?
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:16
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HHR

100 odd staff are not being paid but still be classed as employed to get thier redundancy pay.

The others were told on Friday they would be paid this week but that was it and most of them were not hopeful they would get that

It's is all doom and gloom there and the situation is changing all the time,
YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:37
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The Lawyer article been updated entitled now:

"Barclays tells KWM to cancel all salaries with immediate effect"
YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:41
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That article makes depressing reading.
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:44
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They wont get stat redundancy now will they?
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:45
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Well I hope those khunts who bled the firm dry and then fvcked off are feeling good with themselves today



YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:46
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Staff in the restaurant are emptying the freezers according to the article. Wonder why the property group rescue failed. Some have gone some left behind.
Penrose2017
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:47
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So why don't hey just all walk out now, given they won't be paid?

The worrying thing is , this will not be the only large firm to go in to administration this year.
pumpkin
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:53
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https://www.gov.uk/your-rights-if-your-employer-is-insolvent/claiming-money-owed- to-you

Abbey, your friends should be able to claim stat redundancy from the Insolvency Service (eventually), see gov.uk page above for details.

It really is unbelievably kittens .
EC2Y
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:57
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No money to pay salaries.
AlixPartners has declined to be named King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) administrators due to “concerns about funding”, The Lawyer has learned
Supplies recovered from the staff restaurant whil the fridges are still running FFS.

What does a man (heh!) have to do in this country to trigger sec. 214?
Used Psychology
Posted - 10 January 2017 13:57
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The idea that a law firm partnership, once they have secured lifeboats for themselves and their team would not pay out something to anyone not transferred out is just amazingly shocking to me.

Is there a list of the key partners responsible or is ti all of them in the LLP?
chimes ♥
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:00
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YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 14:02
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The restaurants still running is like the engines of a great liner still running as she slowly goes down, with the cries of the helpless in the water.

and oh, the rich took all the lifeboats.

F**king appalling.

Businesses go under, but this seems a total mess.
Penrose2017
Posted - 10 January 2017 16:59
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There maybe a touch of naive thinking here, but given how all the partners have no doubt continued to line their pockets throughout ,what must rank as the worst managed run/off insolvency process in a law firm, the partners could agree to pay half( 2 weeks wages) of what is owed to all support staff on below say £40K, PA?
These partners were earning seven figures, and would help no end the outdoor clerks, typists, office juniors, accounts clerks/cashiers , and receptionists etc
TDB
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:04
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They should be struck the fvck off.
Good luck jumping ship then.
daddycam
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:09
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jeez, that is depressing
Used Psychology
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:13
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In fairness to them it depends on how their deal is configured, it may be they've already paid for the restaurant (in the rent) or its cheaper to pay than to terminate.

More likely they are just inept though.
Hotblack Desiato
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:16
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Is this not the largest ever law firm insolvency? Also given that KWM have got to a situation where staff are not being paid in January but administrators have not yet been appointed, has the firm not in fact been trading whilst insolvent for some time?
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:27
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Undoubtedly but trading while insolvent is not in itself, and rightly so, the trigger for personal liability.
in the ningwangnong
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:29
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I'd imagine dewey was bigger than SJB
Penrose2017
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:29
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TDB, I agree.

Hotblack, It isn't the largest, but it is the worst managed, with no attempt by the partners who fvcjed the place to disguise their self preservation at all costs by jumping ship. They weren't even subtle about it. I think Dewey Le Boeuf was the largest law firm insolvency, or was it that Parabis Group, defendant Insurance lot
Used Psychology
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:31
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The contrast between what the guys at Andersen Legal did and what these guys is doing can not be more stark.
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:32
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Dear colleagues,

You will have heard from your Employee Representatives on Thursday that salaries were due to be paid on Friday last or yesterday. I am very sorry to have to tell you that this payment will not be paid, and no further salary payments will be made (with the exceptions set out below).

Barclays, our bankers, indicated to me on Thursday evening that they were not willing to approve the salary payments due to you. I made a proposal to the bank on Friday to counter this, asking that essential payments including salaries be paid. This proposal was rejected on Friday. I made a further proposal to ensure salary payments could be made on Sunday and this, also, was rejected. A final proposal was submitted to the bank last night and, with deepest regret, this too was rejected this morning.

I appreciate that the position the bank has taken puts you all in a difficult position and I am very sorry that there is nothing further that I can do to cause the bank to change its mind. Although Barclays stands to lose a substantial amount of money it will have benefited by around £5m in the last week in terms of business receipts and anticipated proceeds of the sale of parts of the business.

We have, today, filed a second Notice of Intention to Appoint Administrators at the Court with an alternative administrator named on the filing – Andrew Hosking of Quantuma – after Alix Partners declined to consent to be named as administrators because of concerns about funding. We will now be seeking to accelerate the appointment of Andrew Hosking as administrator.

In order to undertake the administration we will need to maintain our essential services and I will be contacting a significant number of employees with an offer of continuing employment as soon as possible, certainly within the next 24 hours. Please continue with business as usual, as challenging as that is, until you receive further instructions. Non-legal staff who are not required for the administration need not attend the office from tomorrow.

Individuals who are required as part of the administration will, of course, be paid. If you are a fee-earner and you are transferring to another firm, you will be aware of your obligations to continue to work on the files that you are looking after until your transfer. Please can I also remind you of your professional obligations to ensure that an orderly transfer of files occurs.

Finally, I’m sorry to say that Stanley’s has now closed and your daily allowance cannot be used at the ground floor café. Again, payment to continue your daily allowance was part of the three proposals I put to the bank as I consider this to be an essential payment. This was refused.

This is a difficult message to write, no doubt as difficult as it is to read. I have the deepest regret for all that has happened in recent weeks, but no more so than this. The bank has put us in an impossible situation and, despite the immense challenges, we must do everything we can to ensure our clients’ interests are protected.

Tim

Tim Bednall | Managing Partner, EUME

King & Wood Mallesons


Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:33
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They cant even find administrators so how are they going to pay the staff they want to keep?



in the ningwangnong
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:35
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Big Andy eh?
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:37
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Fvck you and fvck your clients - you don't pay me I am out

Thtat's the deal , You work they pay -
Siegfreid
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:40
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How unpleasant; it's not the bank's fault that they don't want to fund the firm's salary obligations to its employees.
Valkaaydn
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:41
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The partners who jumped ship and put kwm in this position - their new firms will know who they are: how are they ever going to be truly trusted? They've shown a complete lack of integrity.
cІubman
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:42
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I suspect the people being told they weren't getting the promised pay in fact found it harder to read


Barclays. Never have liked them for this sort of thing
Penrose2017
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:42
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Best bit " The Bank have put us in a possible position" Er no, the managing partners/board of the firm did!
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:46
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"Please can I also remind you of your professional obligations to ensure that an orderly transfer of files occurs."

In response to that in particular, the temptation to personally deliver any such file to him with a note reading "plz deal", along with a freshly laid turd, must be almost irresistible.
Siegfreid
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:47
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Will Tim's salary be paid?
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:51
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He's a partner Siggy.
Used Psychology
Posted - 10 January 2017 17:51
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Heh.

Buzz, Surely it would be to deliver it as a pile of complete but thoroughly shuffled files so long as clients were separated?

They should also diligently destroy copies of all files except the originals to ensure they don't get lost or stolen during the admin.
Valkaaydn
Posted - 10 January 2017 18:03
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To be fair to Tim remember he was appointed managing partner of the EUME business only this year - he inherited a failing organisation and was tasked with the impossible. Sounds like he's in a crap situation himself even though he is probably financially more secure than the staff who are being shafted. Think there are many many others to take blame before any is apportioned to Tim.
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 18:06
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I can name a dozen or more
Abbeywell/NSA
Posted - 10 January 2017 18:08
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The rot set in 7 years ago
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 18:09
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Fair point Valkz but I'd still go with the post-it/faeces combo.
unpresidented
Posted - 10 January 2017 18:50
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"The bank has put us in an impossible situation "

Lawyers really will try anything won't they?

I'd not leave the office on foot if I was him.....
tarquin
Posted - 10 January 2017 19:42
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Did Barclays take any personal guarantees from anyone?

How much are they owed?
Lydia
Posted - 10 January 2017 19:57
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Was there an actionable misrepresentation made to the staff by an individual partner here? If someone said work this week and you "will" be paid and then you work this week (when you could have been job hunting or doing a week's liocum work) surely you can sue that individual or was the message to staff - if you are stupid enough take a risk we will sort this out and come in to work but it's entirely at your own risk and you may well not be paid?

So those fee earners not getting paid the clients who instruct them probably still need legal advice. The client might choose lawfully to follow the employee perhaps? Would help the employees mitigate their losses?

Awful situation. Glad I didn't join them (and I doubt as it would have been two trips across London for 2 interviews I would have asked for travel expenses). It would have been to work with Stephen Kon doing my EU/competition law work.
Siegfreid
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:03
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What purpose the actionable misrep when they already have a contractual right to be paid? The debtor has no money.
🐝 buzz
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:06
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And as you've said Lyds , you were spared the risk of joining them by their deciding not to offer you a job.
Penrose2017
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:13
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What Sieg said really.

Lydia, I guess this was decades ago, as opposed to more recently when you almost joined them? One further thing just how many legal specialisms do you have? You seem to practice in a number of areas, both contentious and non-contentious.
Brad's big donger
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:19
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If only there was a lawyer who was . prepared to publish a text book or two on these issues
YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:27
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I think there could be series for Netflix or amazon, a bit like an alternative history like 'man in the high castle'. Lydia in her low island. Basically if SJ Berlin had actually offered her a job and she took it. None of this would have happened, no BREXIT, no trump...
unpresidented
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:30
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SJ Berlin heh

YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:31
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Well known author of many musical classics, SJ Berlin.
unpresidented
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:41
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Funeral In Berwin
YossarianFriday
Posted - 10 January 2017 20:43
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Maybe 'Downfall' is an apt title.
Parsnip
Posted - 11 January 2017 09:19
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rather than a misrepresentation

could those promised that they would be paid argue that this amounted to a promise by the solicitor - an undertaking - and report to the law society for breach of the same. nothing ventured, don't see a downside. no cost of proceedings.
Parsnip
Posted - 11 January 2017 09:33
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“a statement, given orally or in writing, whether or not it includes the word “undertake” or “undertaking”, made by or on behalf of you or your firm, in the course of practice, or by you outside the course of practice but as a solicitor or REL, to someone who reasonably places reliance on it, that you or your firm will do something or cause something to be done, or refrain from doing something.”

sounds like they were given an undertaking to me
Parsnip
Posted - 11 January 2017 22:08
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Bmp
Didgeridon't
Posted - 11 January 2017 22:51
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In a parallel universe there would be repercussions for every partner of the firm giving such an undertaking. In the real world, they will just move on to new pastures.
🐝 buzz
Posted - 11 January 2017 22:53
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"in the course of practice"

Might struggle with that being construed as an undertaking.
🐝 buzz
Posted - 11 January 2017 22:58
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And outside the course of practice "as a solicitor" =/= "while you are a solicitor"