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Addleshaw Booth & Co has appointed a high-profile tax consultant in its Leeds office as a precursor to setting up a private client practice in London.
Caroline Hedges joins from Pinsent Curtis Biddle, where she was a tax partner advising trusts, wealthy families and lottery winners on capital and income tax issues.
Addleshaws senior partner Paul Lee says that there is considerable growth potential in the private client practice.
"From time to time we think private client is deemed a poor relation in the legal market, but this has never been the case at Addleshaws. We think we can set up one of the best national groups in England," says Lee.
He adds that the firm's banking, venture capital, property and corporate finance practices in London stem from strength in the regions. He wants to apply the same principle to the private client practice.
"In the past we've leveraged off our strengths, and now we have the opportunity to take private client to London in the same way," he says.
Addleshaws has four partners in its private and family law practice, and Hedges has been taken on with the view to becoming a partner in the next few months.
Hedges' departure from Pinsents comes just two months after Pinsent Curtis merged with Biddle.
But Pinsents' national practice head of tax Judith Greaves denies that the firm is downsizing its private personal tax practice.
"We have plans to replace Hedges and to develop the area as part of our market strength," she says. "Advising entrepreneurs, directors, shareholders and trusts which have links with our corporate clients is an important part of our practice."
Hedges' departure leaves five partners in Pinsents' private tax department.