Bevan Ashford is to launch a dedicated insolvency practice from its Bristol office with the hire of Laytons' highly-rated Bristol head of insolvency Gordon Bon.
`Bon will complement Bevan Ashford's existing insolvency practice led at the Exeter office by Louise Wilkinson. Insolvency assistant Claire Cole is also moving from Laytons to Bevan Ashford.`Bon's practice is based mainly on referrals from insolvency practitioners and accountancy firms, including KPMG, PricewaterhouseCoopers, RSM Robson Rhodes and Moore Stephens Booth White. He is expected to start at Bevan Ashford in September and will build an insolvency practice within the Bristol corporate and commercial department.`Wilkinson, who joined Bevan Ashford in 1998, has a more mixed national and international practice, including corporate restructure, recovery work for banks, insolvency practitioner and accountant referrals. Bristol insolvency work is currently handled largely by the Exeter office.`Chief executive Nick Jarrett-Kerr said: "Louise has built up a substantial practice from Exeter. With Gordon joining in Bristol they will hunt as a team and take the South West by storm."`It is understood that Bon was attracted to Bevan Ashford by the prospect of working with a different client base, carrying out higher quality work and bigger value transactions.`His move is a major blow to Laytons, which - like many branch offices in Bristol - is proving susceptible to the city's larger firms.`Bon has been with Laytons for 11 years and became a partner six years ago. It is understood that an associate from Osborne Clarke has been hired by Laytons to run its Bristol insolvency practice.`Bevan Ashford is also strengthening its projects group with the hire of an associate from Masons in Bristol. Christopher Wade will become the seventeenth partner in this core area later this year. His departure from Masons follows that of projects partner Iain Fairbairn, who joined Beachcroft Wansbroughs earlier this year.`Led by Steve Hughes, Bevan Ashford's projects department has just won four new instructions for projects with a total capital value of £200m. The largest is a £100m water project for the Department of Environment and Local Government in the Irish Republic.