Managing partner says he’s ‘very sorry’ as he reveals KWM will file for administration today

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Firm’s stricken European arm will change its name to QSP Residual Recoveries LLP


King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) will finally file for administration today, this according to an email received by its lawyers and support staff in the past few hours.

Sent by the firm’s UK, European and Middle East (EUME) managing partner, Tim Bednall, the email confirms that KWM “will appoint administrators today”.

Continuing, the lengthy message (in full below) states that administrators — restructuring specialist Quantuma — will be in touch with staff later this afternoon regarding outstanding salary and statutory redundancy payments.

The email also reveals that the troubled firm’s European arm will change its name to QSP Residual Recoveries LLP during the administration process. He signs off the email with an apology, Bednall telling what lawyers and staff remain that he is “very sorry that it has finally come to this”.

A spokesperson, confirming the news, told Legal Cheek:

I can confirm that King & Wood Mallesons LLP (London) will appoint administrators today (17 January 2017).

This news comes just hours after Legal Cheek revealed an astonishing email exchange between two of KWM’s top lawyers. Signalling what appears to be the start of the blame game, George Pinkham and Tim Taylor QC — partners at KWM’s New York and Dubai outposts respectively — exchanged a war of words over the demise of the firm’s European offices.

And while partners clash the KWM trainee rescue effort, first revealed on Legal Cheek, continues to gather pace.

In the past 24 hours magic circle outfit Allen & Overy confirmed that it had “offered four current KWM trainees a position” at its firm. Meanwhile Hogan Lovells revealed it is in the process of “interviewing prospective trainees” and hopes to confirm exact numbers in the next week or so.

This follows yesterday’s news that Ashurst and the London office of US outfit Fried Frank confirmed they would both be taking on up to three trainees each. Other firms that have either confirmed they are, or are considering, taking on some of KWM’s stricken trainees include Goodwin Procter, Linklaters, Freshfields Brukhaus Deringer, Covington & Burling, and Slaughter and May.

Read the full email below:

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.

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I’m sorry to bring this up here (in reference to the Mayer Brown article just posted) but how is being 26 a “late” age to qualify as a solicitor?! Come off it LC!



Most NQs at City firms were recruited while still in Uni and go straight to LPC and TC. That means most NQs will be 24 (for law students) or 25 (for non-law). If they studied abroad for a year, or took a gap year otherwise, then 26 is a pretty normal age to qualify.



Precisely, if not younger than the average or the norm! To be fair, it is LC here writing this up. Most people don’t gain a TC until they graduate.



My trainee cohort’s average age was around 24 when we started the LPC. Although of course there are plenty of trainees who start when they are fresh out of uni, it’s not remotely uniform these days.



I’m going to be 29…can wow them with stories of debauchery in Asia in the years after graduating.





Jones Day equity partner

We want stories! I luv detailz…



This is Jemimah, Jem for short, and she needs your help. Her corporate law training contract was cruelly wrenched from her through no fault of his own. When poor Jem lost her training contract, she spent four hours crying in the toilets without any toilet roll to rescue her from certain embarrassment.

Jem became socially isolated, unable to afford spa weekends away with her friends and First Class air travel. Her parents, who had invested so much in her education, were deeply ashamed.

Jem fell so low she even contemplated shopping at Lidl once…

But you can help. For a donation of just £5K per month you too can help to save an abandoned law trainee like Jem from the sheer humiliation and poverty of Personal Injury law.

Please, please call 0800 106 107 and give just £5K per month. Your donation will help abandoned trainees like Jem to live life to the full at 3am once more.

Thank you.



Yawn at ya shoddy copy/paste job. Take the chip on ya shoulder and get owt, ta.



What happens to all the firm’s clients when this kind of thing happens? Does KWM proactively handover their matters to other firms before the administration process begins, or is the onus on the client to do that themselves?



The clients have a sort of hunger games for the firms that will accept them.


Wannabe trainee

QSP Residual Recoveries LLP? Are they a top firm? Where do I apply for a TC?



Make sure you bring some bog roll to your interview.



Just right for you if you have a degree from Keele



Can’t wait to “bag” a TC with them



that’s great but not many off the IT depart Have new jobs



English, please.


Get off your horse

Just because you’re a lawyer, there’s really no need to be rude to other people who may not have had the same level or quality of education as you. Support staff are just as important to law firms as the lawyers themselves.


MC Associate

Not just as important… but still very important nonetheless.



Soz it wuz just banta.



Please do explain how to run a law firm with no lawyers?



Only after you’ve explained how to run a law firm without IT support (assuming it is 2017 where you live).


Go and work for an IT consultancy – or any other business that needs IT support.

There you go.

Now, please explain how you’d run a law firm without lawyers.


Are you the same silly cunt that froths at the mouth when your iPhone stops getting work emails. Nevermind it’s not like IT can fix simple shit like that for you.

Btw wtf do you do when your document management system goes down, call a plumber?


Who said I was a lawyer?

Just not some twat who thinks a business can operate without anyone bringing in revenue.

Simple fact is a firm can operate without you.

You could also go to your 1 or 2 person high st firm and ask them about on site IT support. They’ll probably laugh at you.

If you dont like that, go tell your mum about it.

No-one else cares that the big bad world was mean to you, diddums xxx.


I didn’t say “without an IT department”. I said “without IT support”. Outsourced or not, someone’s gotta do the work or all those fee earners can’t deliver their services to clients. In my view that makes them pretty indispensable to the firm, no matter who’s issuing their paycheck.


I see your mum doesn’t care either then.

Anyway – the original comment that you’re responding to refers to ‘Support Staff’ who are employees. Reading. It’s not for everyone.

That’s a rather large chip you have on your shoulder.

Get over the fact that you aren’t as essential to any business as the revenue generators.

Think I’m wrong? Ask yourself who’s role is more likely to go when it comes to redundancies.


I feel like they should have done this last week, but whatever.



KWM EUME imploding just proves what a load of tosh these so-called verein “mergers” really are.



They’re perfectly fine when the underlying verein members aren’t teetering on the brink already. SJB would’ve likely went bust or gotten parceled out far sooner if it wasn’t for this merger – it simply delayed the inevitable.



“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’.” The firm will no longer practice but a TC here would still be worth 100x more than a TC at Irwin Mitchell for sure


Irwin Mitchell trainee

Stfu asshat, at least we’re not going bust like you…yet.


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