LEADING insolvency lawyer Shan Spencer has defected from Addleshaw Booth & Co to niche corporate practice Chaffe Street in Manchester, taking a team of three assistants with her in the process.
Spencer left Addleshaws, where she was head of corporate recovery and insolvency, before Easter and is expected to start at her new firm on 5 May.
Addleshaws head of banking John Priestley shrugged off the departure. Commenting on Spencer's move, he said: 'There is no blood on the wall as far as I'm concerned.'
Denying that the firm had put Spencer on gardening leave, he added: 'It suited us both for her to leave when she did.'
The three assistants to move with Spencer are nine-year qualified Martin Keates and two three-year qualified assistants, Claire Livesey and David Gray.
Priestley described the partings as 'amicable'.
However, he emphasised that the corporate recovery and insolvency department at the firm still has eight partners and 22 assistants and would continue to advise major banks and accountancy firms.
The Lawyer understands that Spencer left because she wanted to work for a much smaller firm.
Chaffe Street senior partner Robert Street said: 'This is a good, positive step for the firm.'
In a separate development, Addleshaws is also losing its Leeds head of employment, Tom Flanagan, to Stephenson Harwood.
Flanagan said that he wanted to move back to London, having joined Addleshaws from Speechly Bircham in 1992, and that Stephenson Harwood's offer was 'too good to resist'.
Flanagan will join Stephenson Harwood on 1 July.