The European arm of King & Wood Mallesons finally collapsed into administration this afternoon.
Andy Hosking and Sean Bucknall of restructuring outfit Quantuma have been appointed joint administrators at the High Court in London.
Hosking said in a statement: ’We are examining the position closely and exploring ways forward with a view to achieving the best possible return for creditors.
’Quantuma’s considerable experience in dealing with professional practices and the distressed legal market, has meant that we have been able to deliver extra value for the benefit of creditors, successfully renegotiating commercial terms with numerous purchasers.’
He added: “Regrettably there will be redundancies but at this stage it is still too early to specify how many. A small number of employees will be retained for a period to help with the administration.’
A helpdesk has been set up with the contact numbers 0207 1115409, 0207 1115771 and 0207 111 5772.
Samantha Palmer of Ashfords has been appointed solicitor manager to deal with client monies and protect client interests. The administrators are also being advised by Rita Lowe of CMS Cameron McKenna and Steven Cottee of Pinsent Masons.
(KWM) Europe managing partner Tim Bednall finally called time on the legacy SJ Berwin business earlier today in an email to staff, alluding to the partial sale of ‘almost all’ of the London and Cambridge practices to other firms, including KWM China. Most active files have been or are in the process of being transferred to other firms. The rump of the firm has now ceased to practice and has been renamed QSP Residual Recoveries LLP.
Bednall concluded: ’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.’