The former president of the Solicitors Family Law Association (SFLA) is joining the current chairman at Addleshaw Booth & Co in a significant "merger" of family law expertise.
Nigel Shepherd, past SFLA chairman and national head of Berrymans Lace Mawer's family law department, is leaving the firm's Manchester office after five and a half years and is taking his team with him, including assistant Tina Dunn. The team is due to join Addleshaws' six-lawyer family department in March.
Shepherd, who will take charge of Addleshaws' Manchester office, says he was attracted by "the opportunity to join a firm which has an existing department with a reputation that is second-to-none outside London".
Addleshaws' business plan fits better with his desire to build on his work "at the top end of the market", says Shepherd, an expert on the financial aspects of divorce. He is still working for Berrymans at the moment and is "still negotiating various things".
"We are seeking to replicate the success that is already established at Addleshaw Booth's site in Leeds and to provide a true trans-Pennine coverage. Our client base is actually national and increasingly from abroad as well."
Current SFLA chairman David Salter says the move "gives Addleshaws enormous strength in the North".