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GARRETT & Co has set out to poach the best of the north west to fill its new office in Manchester.
The fast-growing Arthur Andersen off-shoot last week announced the opening of its second office within six months. The firm is looking to lure senior lawyers and their teams from existing Manchester practices.
Davies Arnold Cooper's John Jackson, who heads the corporate and banking team at the firm's regional office, says he doubts whether Garrett's will have any joy at DAC.
"The line we take is that all competition is good competition. It focuses attention on the fact that Manchester is the pre-eminent legal city in the north west of England."
David Tully, senior partner of Addleshaw Sons & Latham, says: "We can understand why Garretts wants to open in Manchester, which is an important commercial centre."
Managing partner Julia Chain says setting up a Manchester office is a result of the move into Leeds.
This followed the defection of five partners and five associates from Simpson Curtis to Garretts earlier on this year.
"Our client base has grown significantly and we now have a need for a Manchester presence," says Chain.
She adds that the firm "is alive to market opportunities" and does not rule out opening more offices.
It is not yet known how many lawyers will be taken on, or when the office will open. The details of the move will depend on the recruitment response.
Garretts says, in an advertisement in this week's Lawyer, that it is looking for senior Manchester-based lawyers who "may already be leading a team which is willing to follow".
Garretts has grown very quickly - from a two-partner practice to a 14 partner firm in only 15 months.