Litigation boutique Stewarts Law has hired a partner apiece from Manches and Withers as it bids to compete with them in the family sphere.
The firm, which hired Stephen Foster from Lester Aldridge to launch its family practice in 2006, has hired divorce partners Debbie Chism and Emma Hatley from Manches and Withers respectively.
“There’s room at the top for a new player,” said Foster, who heads the family practice.
“If [Manches and Withers] are the Oxford and Cambridge of divorce, we want to be the new world equivalent Harvard.”
One Manches partner said Chism was widely regarded as a rising star, adding that she is “someone who’s well connected and likeable”.
Chism and Hatley co-founded England’s first collaborative divorce partnership to involve multidisciplined professionals in 2007. Chism said she joined Stewarts to take up the opportunity of working with Hatley and Foster.
At the 2007-08 year-end Stewarts had the largest rise in turnover in The Lawyer’s UK 200, with revenue rising by 54 per cent.