KWM has filed for administration.

King Wood & Mallesons LLP is expected to cease trading this afternoon. The firm will shut down and Quantuma administrator Andrew Hosking will take a transfer of its assets and control of the business. Those staff who have to stay on to transfer files and employees to other firms are expected to be moved out of the current office into smaller premises.

    That new office in full

Last week KWM stopped paying any of its staff, some of whom quite understandably resorted to raiding the canteen freezers. Today, partner relations descended into open warfare with an extraordinary email spat between two of them copying in almost the entire firm, in which one appeared to effectively call the other an Anglo-Saxon word for 'ladypart'.

Here's Managing Partner Tim Bednall's email to staff today:

"Dear Colleagues,

The UK firm, King & Wood Mallesons LLP, will appoint administrators today, following the finalisation of terms for the sale (in parts) of almost all of the London and Cambridge practices to a number of other firms, including KWM China.

The administrators will be Andrew Hosking and several of his partners from Quantuma.

The administrators will communicate with all staff, likely commencing this afternoon, and propose to arrange staff meetings with conference call dial in facilities. The administrators will advise continuing staff in relation to salary payments, and all staff concerning their statutory redundancy and statutory payments, and the process for making a claim on the national insurance fund. They will also advise on matters such as access to the office and to emails.

Immediately following the appointment of administrators, the firm will cease to practice. The firm will also cease to be a member of the KWM Verein, and will change its name to ‘QSP Residual Recoveries LLP’.

As advised last week, most active files have been or are in the process of being transferred to other firms. KWM China has established a new UK firm that will take on a number of active and inactive files, and KWM CIS will also take files on a temporary basis that are in the process of being transferred to other firms. If you have a live matter and are uncertain about where the file is to be held, please contact David Wilman and his team.

Samantha Palmer from Ashfords will be appointed as the Solicitor Manager of the LLP to manage the process of billing and collection of remaining files, and the allocation of client monies, amongst other things.

I am very sorry that it has finally come to this. I am particularly distressed by the fact that salaries were not able to be paid for the last two weeks, for reasons previously explained.

I wish you well."

Grim. KWM staffers still looking for a job may have some luck finding one here.

Read the full obituary on Friday.


Anonymous 20 January 17 09:53

I am very sorry to see the implosion of any firm and the loss of so many jobs. This is a sad sad day, and shameful in the way it came about. There were very many good people at the firm and I do hope they find a job soon. To the firms who have taken on those egos, you cannot say that you are were not warned of the type of behaviour you will be bringing to your firm.

Anonymous 20 January 17 07:06

Will RoF run a 'whose going into administration next' book this year? it wouldn't be too difficult to draw up a shortlist from the debt saturated legal 100.

Anonymous 20 January 17 12:39

Just using debt as a guide to sustainability is somewhat missing the point. More significant is ratio of debt to capital and debt to revenue or profit.

Roll On Friday 20 January 17 13:52

They will be getting all the flack but in some ways the partners who stayed to the end to try to sort things out may well be the ones looking out for staff more than those who jumped ship.