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Hammonds has lost another four partners this week, bringing the total number of partner departures in the past year to 23. Manchester partners Pauline Cowie and Jan Levinson, who are corporate and litigation specialists respectively, are joining Beachcroft Wansbroughs, while Leeds insolvency partner Stephen Baylis is joining Langleys and sports partner David Becker is joining Collyer Bristow. Of the 23 departures in the past 12 months, the most high-profile was the breakaway of the firm's eight-partner insurance department to form their own niche firm. Many of the partners who have left, including three Birmingham partners who joined Gateley Wareing and insolvency partner Andrew Knight who went to Speechly Bircham, have joined firms that are smaller than Hammonds. Baylis said he was leaving the firm for lifestyle reasons. "I've been here for eight years and still think Hammonds is an excellent firm, but it's not the place for me anymore," he said. Hammonds was unavailable for comment at the time of going to press.