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KWM files notice to appoint administrators
23 December 2016
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KWM has filed a notice of intention to appoint administrators.

The firm confirmed that it filed the notice on Thursday, saying that it was designed to "protect the firm from its creditors and allows it to maintain client service as it continues to explore all available options". 

One option that is not available to KWM is help from many of the partners who presided over its death spiral, because they have already fled to other firms. In October former managing partner Rob Day resigned after a failed capital call and is now sitting pretty at Proskauer. Head of investment funds Michael Halford left to join Goodwin Procter. Then, in November, an insufficient number of partners agreed to a rescue plan comprising a cash injection from the Chinese wing of the business in exchange for a one year lock-in. After just two years in the role, Managing Partner William Boss quit for a new job at Addleshaw Goddard. EUME senior partner Stephen Kon resigned in December, joining Macfarlanes as a consultant. All leaving the staff to spin on it and fend for themselves.

Band on the run

Filing a notice of intent prevents creditors from taking legal action against the firm and allows it to continue to function, and it doesn't necessarily mean that administrators will be appointed. However, insiders tell RollOnFriday that it's highly likely they will be arriving soon. Staff have been told they will continue to be paid for the immediate future, but few expect to see a February paycheck. The City is awash with their CVs, while they hold out a hope that one of the firms circling KWM with the intention of cherry-picking a team will scoop them up.

In the meantime, its hundreds of staff are headed for a miserable Christmas. If you run a law firm and want to hire some KWM bods, get in touch via RollOnFriday's appeal. And if you're at KWM, treat RollOnFriday like a stressball and let it all out in the Firm of the Year survey.


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