Halliwells moves to beef up financial position and 'reorganise borrowings'
The scale of the pressure facing law firms became evident last week as legalweek.com exclusively revealed that Halliwells is moving to reorganise its finances.In a statement Halliwells said the firm "always intended to reorganise its financial structure" adding "we are reorganising our borrowings to ensure that our long-term investments are being appropriately funded".The statement continues: "Halliwells has for some years been capitalised at a far lower level than its competitors and this reorganisation brings the firm more into line with its peer group."Halliwells, however, declined to comment on reports that equity partners have been asked to put some cash back into the firm as part of the reorganisation.It is believed that discussions have focused on as much as six-figure sums being put back into the business by senior equity partners as a means of restructuring the firm's debt. Halliwells said the firm was "not raising capital (because we do not need to)".The firm also said that the shake-up of its finances was part of a long-term strategy rather than a reaction to current market conditions.The statement continues: "While the credit crunch is clearly having a negative impact on some aspects of Halliwells' business, other parts are performing extremely well and the firm is ahead of budget for the year to date."The top 50 UK law firm has been through a difficult period after announcing two redundancy consultations in the space of a year. The latest round, which was announced last month, is set to affect up to 40 staff in the firm's real estate practice across the Manchester, Liverpool, Sheffield and London offices.The first consultation was announced in February and led to the closure of two teams in its City arm and affected approximately eight staff. The move was part of the firm's decision to refocus its London practice on property, corporate recovery and dispute resolution.Current levels of borrowings at the firm are unclear. Halliwells' most recent limited liability partnership accounts, which cover the 2006-07 year, show the firm had bank loans and overdrafts of £3.73m.
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