EXCLUSIVE: The blame game begins
A series of leaked emails has revealed an explosive row erupting between two top partners at King & Wood Mallesons (KWM).
In an email (screenshotted below) sent to all of KWM’s European and Middle East lawyers on Saturday, George Pinkham (pictured top left) — who is a partner at the firm’s New York outpost — revealed that as of Tuesday his office would be under the control of KWM’s Chinese arm.
Punting for the subject header “farewell to all my friends”, Pinkham — whose job is seemingly safe — blasts the outfit’s “London management” for sinking SJ Berwin, one of three firms that merged to form KWM back in 2013.
Taking issue with Pinkham’s email, Tim Taylor QC (pictured top right) — a partner at KWM’s Dubai office — quickly responds (screenshotted below). Referencing his colleague’s email postscript, which reminds recipients that the New York office will be closed on Monday due to a national holiday, Taylor takes the opportunity to crack a “C U Next Tuesday” gag.
Shocked by what he describes as Taylor’s gratuitous attack, Pinkham fires off another email (reproduced again in full below) claiming his fellow partner has “chosen to distort” his farewell. Accepting that he feels some “responsibility for this fiasco”, the lawyer — who founded SJ Berwin’s Paris office in 2001 — says he is simply trying to stay in touch with staff.
Firing a further shot, Taylor — who once appeared alongside his son Hugo in a episode of Made in Chelsea — states in a follow up email that he is simply giving Pinkham the opportunity to clarify who exactly he wanted to “blame” for the firm’s demise.
Pinkham and Taylor did not respond to Legal Cheek’s request for comment, while a spokesperson for KWM declined to comment on the email exchange.
Last week, having previously revealed that its bank would no longer be approving salary payments, KWM notified the High Court of its intention to appoint administrators for a second time. The firm is expected to enter into administration by the end of the week.
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