Wednesday, 16 February 2011

For a few dollars more...

Go ahead punk... make me pay
Oh dear. It would appear that the original figure of around £14 million believed owed to unsecured creditors of Ian Austin's former law firm Halliwells, was a little on the... well low side. According to the article in The Lawyer, it seems that the original figure has been revised up ever so slightly to a figure just shy of £200 million (£191,521,921.)

It's not known if this sum has been rounded to the nearest pound and whether there are any outstanding pences owed. It's also alleged in the article that from this figure £4.3 million is owed in tax and £1.2 million in VAT to HMRC. The article goes on to say that £17.7 million is owed to the majority state-owned Royal Bank of Scotland. RBS and other creditors have formed a committee to try and retrieve this debt. It's widely accepted that HMRC are known to be rather aggressive in recouping money owed to them.

Many strings to his bow

Ex-managing partner Ian Austin of Halliwells, who 'where appropriate, uses alternative forms of dispute resolution (including mediation)...'(1) like a concert violinist, has many strings to his bow. As well as having given his 'life to that practice' (meaning Halliwells) insodoing, found a novel way to remove his socks.(2) The former executive chair of Halliwells is currently sharing his second life between Heatons LLP and the University of Salford, where he sits as Chair on the Audit Committee

Ian Austin
Austin has spent many years specialising in commerical litigation. More recently, having carefully re-rosin-ed his bow, he's branched off into another area of law in the libel action instigated by the University of Salford  against Dr Gary Paul Duke. Austin thus sits on the University Council as a member of the UoS, and is currently acting for the University in his capacity as a solicitor representing Heatons LLP.

Libel proceedings

As well as the one witness statement provide by Registrar Dr Adrian Graves, Austin has provided his own two signed witness statements to the court as well as the contentious 'List of Information and Documents to be Produced by Witness' sent to Rat Catchers of the Sewers blog host Automattic Inc (Wordpress - see previous post).(3) It was this evidence - including IP addresses - provided by WordPress in breach of their own Privacy Policy, that acted as the basis for the UoS Court Order to Virgin to release details of the account holder of one particular IP address to the University's lawyers. To date, the University have yet to serve the claim form and move the libel proceedings forward.

An Employment Tribunal is scheduled for the 1st and 2nd March in Manchester, where this writer's claim for unfair dismissal will be heard.

(Table courtesy of The Lawyer)

(1) Sourced at
(2) Sourced at
(3) 'User access log records and writings... which evidence and identify each IP address (including date and time of use of said IP address) associated with and/or used at any time by any person in relation to creating or modifying or posting to the Account.' 
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