FTSE 250 housebuilder Redrow has headhunted a Hammonds partner to head up its legal function
Graham Cope will become legal director and group company secretary with responsibility to Redrow's main board.
Cope will replace Rhiannon Walker, who will stay on in the legal department but is taking semi-retirement after more than 16 years with the company.
Cope has spent the bulk of his career in-house. He worked at both McAlpine and Beazer before joining Hammonds in July 2001 to drive forward its housebuilder practice in Birmingham.
"My only reason for leaving is because this tremendous opportunity has come forward," commented Cope.
Birmingham head of property at Hammonds Anne O'Meara added: "This is a very senior role and a great opportunity. We're sorry he's leaving as he's made a great impact in a short period of time."
Redrow is not a Hamm-onds client. Last year it chose Eversheds for additional property support and uses Nabarro Nathanson for corporate work.
Walker has built an in-house team of four qualified solicitors at Redrow's main base in Flintshire and a further four in the regions, as well as a large team of legal executives and paralegals. She said the team is likely to expand further. "It's great news that Graham is coming," she said. "It's taken a while to find the right person."