Hewitsons falls prey to Charles Russell launch

Charles Russell has poached an employment team from Hewitsons and launched an office in Cambridge just a year after opening in Oxford.

Managing partner Grant Howell said the Cambridge office would complement the work done in Oxford, where a team led by Peter Elliott focuses on IT, bioscience, publishing and higher education.

“This seems to be a real opportunity,” Howell told The Lawyer.

Howell said that it was presently unclear how many assistant solicitors would join the Cambridge office, but explained that it would be staffed with a mixture of local lawyers and Charles Russell lawyers, who will relocate.

Hewitsons partners Tim Tyndall, Nick Sayer and Hilary Aldred will join Charles Russell in early 2007 to launch the new office.

The move comes just over a year after Charles Russell opened in Oxford and gives the firm its fifth UK base. The new office will advise clients on employment and corporate law and will also develop AIM and not-for-profit practices.

The launch comes on the back of a busy year for Charles Russell, which also launched its first international office in Geneva in January. The firm saw turnover growth of 16 per cent from 2005 to 2006, with a profit rise of 22 per cent, enabling further investment.

Howell said the firm’s turnover was up by 9 per cent at the half-year mark and was on course to break through the £60m barrier for the first time at the end of this financial year.

The departures hit Hewitsons’ employment team, leaving it with just one partner, Nick Hall, in the firm’s Northampton office. Hewitsons declined to comment.