NORFOLK, Va. (AP) _ The woman who was John A. Walker Jr.'s partner in a detective agency said Monday she bought the firm last week from the man accused of spying for the Soviets.

Laurie Robinson said she purchased the firm, Confidential Reports, Inc., from Walker last Tuesday after meeting with him following a court appearance in U.S. District Court in Baltimore.

Walker, 47, and his son, Michael, 22, have been indicted on espionage charges. Walker's brother, Arthur J. Walker, 50, and Jerry A. Whitworth, 45, of Davis, Calif., have also been accused of participating in a Soviet spy network.

The federal government put a $250,000 tax lien on all of Walker's property the same day as the hearing, but Ms. Robinson said it did not affect Confidential Reports because it was only partially owned by him.

Ms. Robinson, 27, said the detective agency continues to function ''with a full case load.''

''I have been lucky enough to have my clients backing me,'' Ms. Robinson said. ''Obviously, if they felt there was involvement (in the spy ring) on my part, they wouldn't be coming.''

She said none of the detectives licensed to the firm had been laid off since Walker was picked up by FBI agents in Maryland on May 20.

Ms. Robinson, who spoke in a telephone interview from the firm's office in Virginia Beach, declined to reveal the price she paid for the company.

Confidential Reports is listed by the Virginia Commerce Department as having 34 licensed private detectives. It has been operating since 1981, when it was started by former Walker associate Phillip Prince.

Prince was bought out by Walker in 1982 and moved to Rockville, Md., where he is head of security for the local branch of the Tandy Corp.

Ms. Robinson declined to discuss other aspects of her relationship with Walker and the spy case.

She and Walker had been partners in the company since 1982.