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Hill Dickinson poised to take over Halliwells

28 June 2010

Hill Dickinson is in advanced talks to take over ailing Manchester-based commercial firm Halliwells, it has emerged.

Halliwells filed a notice of intention to appoint an administrator last week, a spokeswoman said.

With offices in London, Liverpool and Sheffield, and over 100 partners and 800 staff, the firm is the highest profile legal casualty of the recession so far.

“Halliwells LLP is in advanced discussions for the transfer of the business in its entirety to another highly regarded firm of solicitors due to events that have adversely impacted the finances of the firm,” the spokeswoman said.

“These are the result of high property costs, exacerbated by the current economic climate which affected the profitability of the firm. The underlying business remains strong and has attracted interest from a number of parties.”

Halliwells took on a state-of-the-art office building in the Spinningfields district of central Manchester in 2007, at a time when rents were at their peak.

The spokeswoman said that to provide Halliwells with a “period of stability” and facilitate its transfer to new owners, the firm had entered into a “moratorium to protect the interests of shareholders and ensure business continues as usual”.

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