Doncaster law firm’s debts lead to takeover

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Jobs at a Doncaster law firm have been saved after the company went into administration over unpaid tax debts.

Waterdale-based GV Hale, which specialised in criminal cases, has been taken over by a Nottingham legal practice and all 17 staff have been kept on.

The firm’s financial problems stemmed from the ill-health of senior partner Ged Hale, who lives in Tickhill, and founded the firm after starting his career as a Crown prosecutor.

Northern Briefs, trading as GV Hale, which also has an office in Scunthorpe, went into administration a few weeks ago and administrators Chris White and John Russell, partners at The P&A Partnership, have sold the company’s business and assets to Nottingham-based The Johnson Partnership, securing the jobs of the company’s 17 employees.

Mr White said: “It was an unfortunate chain of events which caused this firm’s downfall but we are very pleased that we have been able to sell this business and protect the jobs of all the staff.

“The company gradually ran into difficulties after director Gerard Hale became seriously ill in March 2009 and was unable to work.

“The P&A Partnership met with Mr Hale in August 2013 to discuss the company’s financial position.

“In October 2013, HM Revenue and Customs issued a seven day letter threatening to issue a winding up petition in respect of their debt which the company could not pay.”

Following negotiations with interested parties, a sale of the company’s business and assets to Nottingham-based The Johnson Partnership was completed upon their appointment on November 5.

The Johnson Partnership offer services including criminal and business defence and a prison law service.

It has offices in Nottingham, Derby, Mansfield and Chesterfield and in 2002 was the subject of a Channel 4 documentary series, Partners in Crime.

Partner Digby Johnson said: “We anticipate we will regularly field representatives in courts in Sheffield, Doncaster, Hull and Grimsby, as well as continuing our customary representation throughout Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire.

It is hoped our acquisition of Northern Briefs will ensure a stronger future for a business which has grown beyond all expectation in the past decade.”