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Cambridge-based Mills & Reeve, East Anglia's biggest law firm, has taken on Herbert Smith's most highly-rated planning partner David Brock.
Brock will move from Herbert Smith in London next month. Brock says that M&R's Cambridge office is closer to his home. "I'd like to exploit the market for planning lawyers in that area," he says.
"Cambridge has been a pretty vibrant economy for the last 15 years or more. With the Cambridge phenomenon - science parks investing and bright people starting up new businesses - those development issues are still there and growing."
Jonathan Barclay, M&R's senior partner, says: "This is a tremendous coup for Mills & Reeve. Planning issues are high on the agenda for many of our clients and a person of David's expertise can only add benefit to our practice."
Brock joined Herbert Smith in 1985 and became a partner at the firm in 1989. He heads the firm's environmental group which will now be run by head of planning Patrick Robinson.
A spokesman at Herbert Smith says: "David has played a most helpful role in building up the firm's reputation in the area of environmental law and Herbert Smith intends to develop the environmental practice with vigour."