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Finers is launching a family law department following the announcement last week of its merger with Stephens Innocent.
Partner David Taylor will head the new family practice, which will launch with three matrimonial partners from the firm's litigation department. It plans to boost its numbers in the near future.
The head of property dispute resolution at Finers, John Hewitt, becomes head of litigation at Finers Stephens Innocent, replacing current leader Christopher Butler who will remain a partner in the practice.
Managing partner Richard Gerstein says that the changes have been expected for months.
"It's something we have been talking about for a long time," he says. "We felt that now was the right time to separate our matrimonial team from the litigation department.
"The work done by matrimonial lawyers has differed a lot from that done in litigation, and it is an area of our practice we are keen to develop.
"We are certainly looking to take on more people."
The litigation practice will have nine partners when Stephens Innocent partners Nicola Solomon and Peter Woods join the group on 14 December.
"John Hewitt is the right person for the job - he is a very good manager.
"It is essential that we create a strong internal structure with the right people managing the development of the practice and its growth," says Gerstein. "This will impact directly on achieving our strategy in litigation, where we already have a strong base which will be enhanced by the Stephens Innocent brand."