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KWM administrator blames fleeing partners for collapse
27 January 2017
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The administrator of KWM's Europe and Middle East arm has said that partners fleeing from the firm accelerated its "ultimate demise".

Quantuma has provided its bleak findings on the beleaguered firm in its first report to the creditors. The report, published by Legal Business, states that "administration was the only resort left to the firm, which saw an accelerating rate of partner and staff departures during 2016 as the extent of the firm's financial difficulties became apparent".  It adds that by mid-December it was clear that the firm "required funding above the level available to it" and that it would be unable to meet its financial obligations.

Senior staff jumping ship last year included former Managing Partner Rob Day, Managing Partner William Boss and EUME senior partner Stephen Kon, all of whom are now sitting pretty at other firms. Other European partners who stayed on at the firm refused to save it despite the Chinese wing of the business offering a deal to bail them out.
 
As management headed for the lifeboats, KWM staff played on

 

The report also provides details of the administrator flogging off partner teams since its appointment on 17 January, including six partners to Greenberg Traurig, eight to DLA Piper, eleven to KWM China and twelve to Reed Smith, whilst the KWM Spain business was sold to the partners of that office. The fire sale had started before the administrator arrived, as seven partners were transferred to Goodwin Procter in early January.

KWM staff still at the firm didn't hold back in the RollOnFriday Firm of the Year survey, as the firm unsurprisingly came bottom of the pile and was awarded the Golden Turd. With an array of profanities usually reserved for piercing a toe on a rusty nail, furious staff railed against mismanagement by "self-interested ********* who wouldn't know integrity if it came up and bit them on their corpulent wobbly arses", as those left behind geared up for the prospect of "potential joblessness".

KWM staff who are looking for a job may have some luck finding one here.


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