North-east insurance litigation specialist Crutes has replaced its entire management, with both Stephen Crute, managing partner since 1995, and chair Tim Wallis stepping down.
Dispute resolution head Helen Ager has become the new managing partner, effective from 1 January, with litigator David Drewe taking up the chairmanship.
Both Wallis, Crutes' former managing partner, and name partner Crute have been high-profile figureheads of the firm for many years. Their move away from the top positions represents a new era at the Newcastle firm and, potentially, a change of strategy.
Ager, who becomes the only female managing partner of a large law firm in the North East, said both partners had held the senior positions for many years and were looking forward to continuing with the firm as senior fee-earners.
"There's definitely not going to be a change in the strategy of the firm," she said, "although inevitably there will be a change in our style."