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Davies Wallis Foyster Manchester brewery specialist partner Mark Dennis has taken his team of four to Halliwell Landau along with his three major clients.
Dennis joins Halliwell Landau's commercial litigation department with assistants John Lord and Nicola Field, and legal executive Beverly Loftus.
The team will continue acting for its clients, Scottish and Newcastle, Whitbread and Reebok UK.
He said the clients were happy with the move.
"There were few tears when I told my clients that I was moving," he said.
"Halliwell Landau has doubled its commercial department in the last three years. It is seen as more entrepreneurial and market-driven than Davies Wallis Foyster."
But Guy Wallis, managing partner at Davies Wallis Foyster, denied the team's move reflected badly on his firm. He said: "Halliwells made Mark an offer which we simply couldn't match. But our brewery division has been taken over by Sharon Williamson who, like Mark, is an excellent handler of clients.
"As for our commercial sense, I had a recent conversation with the head of legal at Scottish and Newcastle who said he regarded us as "a highly enterprising firm'."