LEADING clinical negligence firm Alexander Harris has recruited two prominent partners from rival Pritchard Englefield to head its new London office.
The new office is due to open this week. However, Pritchards is declining to tell Alexander Harris when it will release Grainne Barton, partner in charge of clinical negligence, and Katherine Pedler, clinical negligence specialist partner. Both still have six month's notice to serve.
Alexander Harris senior partner Ann Alexander says: "They will join us as soon as they are released from Pritchards, but you'd better ask its managing partner when that date is. In the meantime, our London office will operate with a small staff taken from our Altrincham office."
As of 31 July, only franchised firms will be able to carry out legally aided clinical negligence work. The Legal Aid Board is due to announce which firms will be franchised on 1 February. In the interim, firms with personal injury franchises will be able to get legal aid.
Last year, more than 3,000 firms obtained legal aid certificates for clinical negligence cases. This will shrink to less than 200 after July.
Pritchards managing partner Stuart McInnes was unavailable for comment.