Hammonds loses Birmingham finance head to Speechlys

Speechly Bircham has lured Hammonds’ Birmingham head of finance to London to grow a corporate recovery and insolvency practice.

Chris Harlowe rejoins former Hammonds’ banking partner Andrew Knight at Speechlys. The two have worked closely together in the past and will continue to do so at Speechlys. Both are involved in the growing asset based lending segment of the banking market, in which Speechlys is acting for new clients Abbey National Business and GMAC Commercial Finance.

Harlowe will sit in Speechlys’ commercial dispute resolution team, which specialises in contractual and regulatory disputes, including asset-tracing and white-collar fraud.

Speechlys managing partner Michael Lingens said the latest lateral was part of the firm’s push into specialist areas in the corporate field.

“It’s all part of a pattern. We are seeking more institutional clients and growing our specialist expertise,” he said. “Andrew and Chris come with a whole load of clients and contacts. This is a platform for growth.”

The growth of Speechlys banking practice follow its hire last year of a private equity team from Osborne Clarke.

At Hammonds Birmingham office, partners Stephen George and Devinder Singh will now jointly head the finance practice. Both joined from Irwin Mitchell last year.