Halliwells administrators report reveals extent of financial fallout

Total costs incurred by the administration of Halliwells have reached £1.13m, according to figures contained within the first joint administrators’ report.

The report, drawn up by BDO partners and joint administrators Dermot Power and Shay Bannon, shows that fees of £524,354 have been charged by the administrators, of which just £30,000 has so far been received.

A further total of £606,082 relates to expenses incurred by the administrators, including £585,682 spent on legal fees for CMS Cameron McKenna and counsel fees of £19,043.

Camerons advised on the break-up of the now-defunct firm’s business, with banking partner Rita Lowe taking the lead role.

The report also shows that £14.1m is owed to the firm’s unsecured creditors, with HM Revenue & Customs identified as having the largest amount outstanding of all the non-preferential creditors – a total of £4.3m.

Other unsecured creditors include Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers, which have outstanding amounts of £120,332 and £131,036 respectively, while property adviser Muller Professional Services is owed £2.4m and the College of Law is due £448,293.

In addition, £2.09m is owed to counsel, barristers and case expert witnesses with sets such as Kings Chambers, Serle Court, No5 Chambers, 3 Verulam Buildings and Maitland Chambers featuring on the unsecured creditors list.

The administrators are proposing that the firm enters into liquidation with Power and Bannon appointed as joint liquidators.

The report states: “It is the joint administrators’ recommendation and proposal that once all assets have been realised and distributed in the administration, that the joint administrators arrange for the LLP to move to creditors’ voluntary liquidation if a distribution is to be made to the unsecured creditors.”

The report also reveals that 83 redundancies were made on on 20 July after the “sales of the LLP’s assets meant that a number of the LLP’s staff were not required in order to meet ongoing business commitments.”

However, 77 staff entered into a transitional services agreement (TSA), of which 11 have been offered permanent positions by the acquiring firms, Barlow Lyde & Gilbert and HBJ Gateley Wareing, under the Transfer of Undertakings (Protection of Employment) (TUPE) regulations.

In addition to the six taken on under TUPE by Barlows, the firm has offered jobs to a further 26 currently working under the TSA, all of who have accepted.

The remaining staff who have not been offered positions are set to be made redundant when the TSA expires on 28 September.

Halliwells issued notice of intention to appoint administrators in June, and concluded the break-up and sale of its business the following month.