Dechert has lost its former head of property to Charles Russell. Chris Edwards' decision to leave comes after a period of reinvention for his former practice since the transatlantic merger of Titmuss Sainer Dechert and Dechert Price & Rhoads in July 2000. A well-known and highly-rated name in the owner-investor market, Edwards will take over from David Horner as department head at Charles Russell. He has spent almost 20 years at Titmuss Sainer and merged firm Dechert, leading the London property practice for the last four. The hire is a coup for Charles Russell. Managing partner Grant Howell said that he hoped the hire would raise the the profile of his firm's property practice. "Property is important to us. We have a good practice, but it is not as visible as we would like it to be." Edwards entered talks with Charles Russell shortly before his term of office as Dechert property head ended in May. "I had no intention of leaving, but when Charles Russell floated the idea of heading up its property practice, in all the circumstances I quite fancied that idea. "I thought that what I had to offer in terms of management would be of more use to Charles Russell because of the stage it is at in its development. It has a regular domestic property practice with a reasonable range of developer and investor clients. It is where Titmuss Sainer Dechert were a few years ago, but Dechert is moving, or trying to move its practice into property finance. That's fine if you want to do property finance, but for me, property is what I'm good at." Edwards said that he had left Dechert on good terms, but added: "The jury is still out on the future of international property finance driven practices, unless you are Clifford Chance doing huge securitisations." Ciaran Carvalho has taken up the role of property head at Dechert.