Wildes folds following Hammonds hires
Legal Director reports
Niche banking and insolvency firm Wilde & Partners is to dissolve following the departure of the majority of its partners and fee earners to national firm Hammond Suddards Edge.Hammonds has today (17 July) confirmed that five partners and more than 20 fee earners will be joining the firm next month.“We will be moving to Hammonds on the 13th of next month and dissolving the partnership the day before,” equity partner and head of commercial Robert Weekes told Legal Week.The bulk of the lawyers come from Wildes’ core receivables financing and asset based lending practice.Equity partners Weekes and Andrew Watson will be joining Hammonds as full equity partners while current Wildes’ senior partner Simon Boon will be joining the firm as a consultant along with the founder of the firm Ed Wilde.Salaried litigation partners Bob Scott and Lawrence Winston will join Hammonds as partners.Of the three remaining Wildes’ partners, equity partner Matthew Halton is to move to City firm Kingsford Stacey Blackwell, and salaried partners Abraham Ezekiel, an insolvency lawyer, and Martin Smith, a property lawyer, are currently in negotiations with Hammonds.Around 20 fee earners will also move to Hammonds. Out of a total headcount of 60, 30-40 will be moving over, including support staff.Hammonds intends to set up a 12 partner, 40 lawyer financial law department incorporating Hammonds’ and Wildes’ receivables financing, asset based lending, insolvency and banking work. The department is budgeted to turnover £9-10m. Wildes’ debt recovery department will be moved to Hammonds’ bulk office in Bradford.Watson said: “Together we will be the UK’s strongest fully integrated business finance and recovery practice attracting work at all levels with the ability to service clients on a pan-European level.”“We need Hammonds national and overseas offices,” he added.Wildes counts Deutsche Financial Services, Bibby Factors, Close Brothers, Bank of America and Lloyds TSB among its clients.
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