Howard Kennedy takes stock with triple overhaul

West End firm Howard Kennedy is shaking up its practice. It is adding a new department, expanding its corporate team and refocusing its employment division.

The 68-partner firm has scooped partner Vernon Dennis from Edwin Coe to head a dedicated corporate recovery and reconstruction department.

Dennis, who was at Edwin Coe for two years, said the new service will be launched by the end of this month (February) and will be staffed by the firm’s existing insolvency experts.

“There will be five core partners making up the main team, with me and another six partners in other service groups,” said Dennis. “The service will provide credit and debt financial advice for those in difficulty while pursuing good business values.”

The restructure has also seen the corporate arm expand with the hire of M&A partner Gerard Cranley, who leaves Penningtons after two years.

The employment department is undergoing a strategy overhaul by focusing on media and public sector employment. Pinsent Masons partner Jane Moorman, who specialises in the two new areas, took over the department from partner Andrea Nicholls last December.

Moorman, who left Pinsents after three years, said: “At the moment the practice tends to service the other departments, which of course is great, but I want to see employment become a standalone department with its own profile and clients.”

The restructure comes after the firm launched a dedicated planning department upon securing former English Heritage legal chief Nigel Hewitson (The Lawyer, 31 July 2006).