Hammonds to headhunt frustrated City associates

Hammonds has unveiled a new strategy aimed at staging an international fightback after three disastrous years of falling profit, financial mismanagement and an exodus of partners.

The firm plans to launch a massive recruitment campaign, taking on lateral hires across the board, but particularly in corporate and real estate.

Managing partner Peter Crossley said the strategy will include finding “senior associates who’ve reached a glass ceiling and who we can promote”.

He added: “London is also very important for us and is obviously key, but there isn’t any one area that’s going to be preferred over the rest. Our Yorkshire business is very important for us too, and our business outside the UK is an increasingly important part of the overall firm.”

Hammonds plans to rebuild its Brussels office, which was rocked last year by the departures of competition head José Rivas and trade partner Edward Borivikov, as first revealed on www.thelawyer. com (13 November 2006). It will also attempt to grow its German and French offices and its Madrid tax and corporate teams.

Crossley predicted that the investment will not hit its profit per equity partner, which rose to £328,000 last year. “Obviously investment is hard for anybody and we have to factor it in, but it’s not going to be a big factor,” he said.