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Garretts' Manchester office has suffered a blow with the departure of its head of corporate development to Dibb Lupton Alsop.
Stephen Devlin, who set up the practice four years ago, is one of the City's top lawyers. He stepped down from the managing partner position last year.
"It is always disappointing to lose good people and Stephen is a good lawyer. We wish him well. I know that Stephen is proud of what Garretts have achieved in Manchester," says Tim Hamilton, who took over the post as managing partner.
"In four years the Manchester office has grown from four lawyers to 34."
Devlin came from Addleshaw Booth & Co with two colleagues to set up the Garretts Manchester office in 1995.
He says "I am delighted to be joining such a successful and energetic corporate team in a progressive firm like DLA."
Hamilton admits that as yet there is no replacement lined up for Devlin's position, but he hinted that the new head of corporate is more likely to come through a lateral hire than from within the firm.
The head of Dibb Lupton Alsop's corporate group, Andrew Darwin says: "Our Manchester office is widely acknowledged as the leader in its market.
Dibb Lupton Alsop's head of European acquisition finance, Mark Vickers, is leaving to join Ashurst Morris Crisp.