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North East firm Crutes has appointed its first-ever commercial director in chartered accountant Tim Robinson.
Robinson joins the firm from £400m North East-based specialist vehicle and engineering business Tanfield Group, where he was finance director.
He is charged with expanding the firm's service offering from its current portfolio of litigation, insurance and public sector work into business services and private client law, as well as increasing the firm's share of the North East market.
Robinson said: "The potential is there within this market; we only have to look at our larger competitors to see that."
Crutes managing partner Helen Ager said: "In the last two years Crutes has invested heavily to get the right people in place across our target growth areas. Now we’re ready to go out there and meet our competitors in the marketplace head-on."
Tanfield floated in 2000 and is now valued at £400m on the London Stock Exchange.
Before joining Tanfield, Robinson spent nine years as finance director of electronics company ISL, during which time it grew from being a £10m into a £150m business, before being sold to sold to US consortium Hicks Muse Tate & Furst in 1997.
He continued working for the consortium as European finance director for all its electronics businesses, where he was responsible for businesses in eight different countries with a combined turnover of £800m.