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Hammond Suddards Edge's Birmingham office is poaching a high-profile senior employment partner from rival firm Eversheds.
David Beswick will run the employment department in Hammonds' Birmingham office, where there are currently two partners. A third partner, Julia Edwards, is on gardening leave; she plans to join Eversheds' Birmingham office in the autumn. Beswick, who has been at Eversheds since 1985, specialises in executive severance packages, Tupe issues, restructuring and restrictive covenants. He is also a Centre for Effective Dispute Resolution-accredited mediator. Eversheds' Birmingham office acts for a range of clients, including IBM, Diageo, BASF and Rover. Beswick is expected to bring a number of these clients with him. Hammonds national head of the employment unit Sue Nickson denied that the two departments were swapping partners. "Beswick is the head of Eversheds' employment team, so his move to Hammonds is on a completely different scale to Edwards' move to Eversheds," she said. She added that Beswick was joining Hammonds because its national employment practice was truly integrated. "We're a national firm which works as one team and we all pull together," she said. "We're not parochial about which office deals with which client." Eversheds' Birmingham managing partner Meg Heppel denied that the firm's employment group was not fully integrated. "It pulls together very well on a national basis," she said, adding: "We're sorry to see him go, but his departure will not impact on the employment team in Birmingham or elsewhere." Nickson said that Beswick's arrival would be a significant step for the firm's employment team. "He's widely recognised as a heavyweight figure within the industry," she said. Hammonds' clients include Motorola, ICI, Compass Group, Cheltenham & Gloucester, Aldi and Delphi Automotive Group. There are currently more than 60 lawyers in the employment group across the country.