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Addleshaw Booth & Co is shaking up its senior management in a drive to strengthen its banking and finance practice.
As part of an internal re-jig, John Priestley is standing down as head of banking and finance to allow him to join the firm's board.
The new banking and finance head will be corporate banking partner Mark Chidley, the former head of the Manchester-based firm's London office now headed by Simon Twigden.
Chidley has been forced to resign from the board, because, under Addleshaw Booth's partnership articles, partners cannot be simultaneously members of the board and group heads.
Board members are not, however, prohibited from heading departments.
Priestley is to remain head of the firm's banking litigation department, which counts Yorkshire Bank and the Nationwide building society among its clients.
Paul Lee, Addleshaw Booth's senior partner and board chairman, says: "The board's role is to develop and guide the strategic direction of the business and John's wealth of experience will be invaluable in the work of the board in the new millennium."
Chidley is to spearhead a drive to expand the firm's position in the North West for banking and finance work.
Addleshaw Booth is adding three partners to the Manchester-based group, including two lateral hires.
Lee says: "The continued development of this core part of our business is crucial to achieving our ambition of doubling fee income in the three years to 2002."
Shipping finance partner Helen Boyle is joining from Stephenson Harwood (see story opposite) and associate Richard Capper is leaving Dibb Lupton Alsop in Liverpool. Both are joining as banking partners.
Boyle is set to join in mid-November while Capper handed in his notice last week and has yet to set a start date.
Addleshaw Booth's senior assistant in Leeds, Amanda Grey, will also be joining the Manchester-based corporate banking team as a partner.
Chidley describes the three as "first class banking lawyers".