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Eversheds is closing its clinical negligence practice in East Anglia following the departure of its head of department to a rival firm.
John Chapman of the firm's Norwich unit is leaving after 25 years to join Mills & Reeve's 75 healthcare team at the end of March.
Eversheds will retain its NHS clients, but discontinue its regional clinical litigation defence practice, focusing instead on non-cont- entious work.
Eversheds managing partner Colin Brown says the departure is an amicable one.
"We believe that by focusing our resources in other areas, such as employment, commercial, property and major infrastructure projects, we will enhance our overall service to NHS clients," he says.
East Anglian business practice Mills & Reeve's managing partner David Ogilvy comments: "While a focus on local business lies at the heart of our strategy, the NHS is an important part of our practice nationally.
We believe that consolidating the region's experts in one team will benefit all local NHS trusts and health authorities."
Mills & Reeve is a member of the NHS authority litigation panel of 18 law firms.
It recently expanded from its East Anglian base into the West Midlands through a merger, in November, with the Birmingham specialist health law firm The Lewington Partnership.