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Updated ‘Our History’ page on KWM’s website glosses over administration woes

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It says the firm has “reduced its lawyer numbers in Europe”

KWM

King & Wood Mallesons Global (KWM) has given the “Our History” section of its website an update, and it glosses over last week’s administration.

The webpage now says that “the start of 2017 saw the firm reduce its lawyer numbers in Europe”, with no explanation as to why. Though the international giant’s UK, Europe & the Middle East (EUME) arm formally entered into administration on 17 January, the page reassures the site’s visitors that it will “maintain a strategic presence in the UK, Europe & the Middle East to service the needs of its global clients”.

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An interactive timeline at the bottom of the page — which again stresses that the firm will maintain its EUME presence — concedes that it will be operating on a “reduced platform”. Again there is no mention as to why. The firm is able to continue operating in this way because China-led KWM Global has always been a separate legal entity to KWM EUME. A spokesperson for KWM Global declined to comment.

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The new London outpost — which is based just a stone’s throw from St Paul’s Cathedral — will be made up of seven partners, all of who apparently come direct from KWM’s defunct EUME arm. Last week, a spokesperson for KWM told Legal Cheek that the new outfit would “not presently” be taking any trainees or future trainees from its obsolete EUME offices.

And as the firm’s global website undergoes a makeover, more reports emerge regarding the EUME arm’s administration woes.

Yesterday the Lawyer Magazine (£) suggested that KWM’s bank, Barclays, could “recoup less than 30% of its £35 million loan” to the firm. This would equate to an eye-watering debt write-off of as much as £25 million. Barclays declined to comment.

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The development comes just days after Legal Cheek acquired a series of emails that revealed an incredible bust-up between KWM partners. Quickly reaching the nationals (pictured above), the emails showed New York-based partner George Pinkham and Dubai-based partner Timothy Taylor QC clashing over who was to blame for the demise of the firm.

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