Hammond Suddards' five private client fee earners and three support staff are to rejoin their former head Richard Archer at the Leeds office of private client practice Wrigleys.
Wrigleys – founded by two Dibb Lupton Broomhead partners a year ago when Dibbs closed down its private client practice – hired Archer, a partner at Hammonds for 30 years, as a consultant at start of July.
Richard Sutton, Wrigleys managing partner, said: “In a way, this represents a coming together of Dibbs and Hammond Suddards. They cannot lose because we will deliberately avoid competing with either firm in commercial work. They can refer their important private clients to us without having to worry about us nicking their commercial work.”
John Heller, Hammonds senior partner, said his firm had decided to concentrate on its commercial work. He explained: “It was felt that private client work demanded an equally focused approach which would best be served by combining the Hammond Suddards team with Wrigleys.”
Sutton joined Wrigleys in June this year from Dibbs, where he was head of intellectual property, along with Dibbs pension partner Tim Knight.
Wrigleys' founding partner Matthew Wrigley commented: “We believe we have successfully identified a gap in the market for private clients who feel uncomfortable with national firms, but need the expertise to handle complex issues.”
He said having more junior lawyers would help to ensure the “succession and continuity which is so important in this field”. Wrigleys now has four partners and 24 fee earners and support staff.