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Hammond Suddards has hired top employment lawyer Chris Southam from Bristol firm Veale Wasbrough.
Southam was head of Veale Wasbrough's employment unit, and was regarded as the leading employment practitioner in the South West.
He said that joining Hammond Suddards "was such a good opportunity an opportunity that I could not let go". He described Hammond Suddards as a "first-rate" firm with a very good client base.
Adding that he was very sad to leave Veale Wasbrough after eight years, Southam said his decision to leave as "really difficult". But he was tight-lipped as to how the move came about.
Veale Wasbrough managing partner Derek Bellew said: "Chris wanted to go to London and we wish him all the best." He added that Southam's departure was "extremely amicable."
Sarah Lamont has been appointed the new head of Veale Wasbrough's six-lawyer strong employment team.
Tim Russell, a partner in Hammond Suddards' national employment unit, commented: "The fact that an employment lawyer of Chris's calibre has been attracted to the firm reflects the growth of our London office as well as the success of the firm nationally."