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DENTON Hall employment head Stephanie Dale has rejected an offer from rival practice Dibb Lupton Broomhead to move to its London office.
Dale was expected to fill the void left by former London head of employment Jill Andrew, who quit the practice in March.
The employment group is operated on a national basis by partner David Bradley.
Bradley says Dale's move to Dibbs was never a "cast iron certainty", but he admits she would have been a "special opportunity" for the firm.
Dale, who has been at Dentons for eight years, says she was "flattered" by Dibbs' offer, "but I am strongly committed to the Denton Hall employment group and the opportunities that gives me here".
Dibbs' London employment work is now being handled by Anthony Korn and partner Tim Marshall.
"We will always look at good quality lawyers, but it is not a matter of necessity," says Bradley. "If someone good comes along we will look at them, but it will not necessarily be a Jill Andrew replacement. Jill Andrew was a figurehead. There is not a necessity to recruit a figurehead. Our strength is in our national strength."
Bradley says Dibbs has "the largest employment team in the country", with 24 fee earners spread across its five offices.
He confirms three assistants are leaving the seven-member London team, but says additional recruits will be signed.
"Departures among assistants are a fact of life. Our staff are very attractive to competitors," says Bradley. "At the same time we are very attractive to other assistants. We're absolutely inundated with applications.
"There will be further appointments and further growth within the next six months. We are an expanding team."
- In a separate move Kevin Royle, a partner in Dibbs insolvency group for the past 10 years, has left the practice to join the partnership of Leeds-based Lupton Fawcett.
Specialising in corporate insolvency, Royle acts for a wide range of insolvency practitioners and clearing banks and has advised on many of the North's larger receiverships.
Royle says his move is "totally unrelated" to the recent restructuring at Dibbs.