Addleshaws’ Hammonds captures get notice period halved to three months

Addleshaw Goddard has secured the early release of the five construction partners the firm hired from Hammonds’ Leeds office.

As first revealed on www. thelawyer.com (2 March), Addleshaws hired equity partners Simon Palmer and Mark Hilton and salaried partners John Emerton, Andrew MacCuish and Jonathan Tattersall to boost its contentious construction practice. The move also resulted in eight associates and four secretaries quitting the firm.

After the team resigned, Hammonds held the departing partners to a six-month notice period, forcing them to stay with the national firm until late August. It is understood that, at the time, Hammonds also sought legal advice from Herbert Smith on its position regarding the en masse resignations.

However, the partners  reached an agreement with Hammonds to leave after three months and at the same time as the associates. Acc-ording to well-placed sources, Hammonds’ sudden U-turn came about because the departing part-ners were left without sufficient manpower to handle client work once the associates had left the firm.

The team will add £4m to Addleshaws’ £40m Leeds revenues and it increases the size of its national construction department, which currently numbers 25.

A Hammonds spokesperson said: “We reached a resolution that was in the best interests of our firm, which involved agreeing to our former partners leaving earlier this month.”