Banking lawyer John Hughes has been appointed managing partner of Needham & James' Birmingham office. Hughes joined the practice from rival Dibb Lupton Broomhead (now Dibb Lupton Alsop) in December 1995. He succeeds Keith James, who will continue to practise as a partner in the firm. Needham & James, which is based in Stratford upon Avon, opened a Birmingham office two years ago, after its original Birmingham operation was taken over by Dibbs in 1993. "I have no doubt that Needham & James will be a significant force in Birmingham in the near future," said Hughes. "Indeed, 1997 will see some very exciting developments for us."