Digests

Shoosmiths is closing its Rugby office and opening another in Milton Keynes as part of a strategic review. Last year the Rugby commercial team moved to Northampton, but it is uncertain what will happen to its remaining five partners and 10 assistants when the office shuts in April.

Clifford Chance has poached an in-house lawyer from retail giant Safeway. Tim Sherwood-King is joining the 21-partner real estate department, which is headed by partner Cliff McAuley, as an assistant. The practice represents Marks & Spencer in Europe and is attempting to attract more retail development work.

Wilde Sapte partner Richard Macklin has withdrawn his resignation and is staying with the firm. Macklin, who was based in Wilde Sapte's Paris office, announced last summer he would be leaving, and was understood to be heading for Eversheds in Paris. But Macklin has since decided to stay and will be based in London.

Theodore Goddard is bolstering its banking and property departments with the appointment of two partners. Robert McNally, formerly a property partner at Richards Butler, and Stephen Bower, a banking partner at CMS Cameron McKenna, will join the firm in February and March respectively. Theodores is also promoting property associate Michael Black to partner level.

Dibb Lupton Alsop has taken on a new project finance partner from Chadbourne & Parke. Kevin Jordan, who was an associate at the US firm, will join Dibbs at the beginning of March, when the firm moves into new offices that will unite its London operations.

Reg Vardy, one of Europe's largest motor retailers, has poached a lawyer from Eversheds in Leeds to be its first in-house counsel. Corporate finance assistant Jason Brine advised clients in the motor retail industry while at the firm.

Carey Langlois, a Guernsey law firm, is appointing an ex-partner from Linklaters as its London consultant. David Greenhalgh retired from Linklaters where he had been a partner for nearly 25 years. Between 1989 and 1993 he was head of the firm's international tax practice.

Hammond Suddards has launched a dedicated training service about employment law designed for businesses. Specialists at the firm will take the Hammonds In-Tuition lessons to the company or any venue. Employment partner Nick Jones says the bespoke sessions will keep personnel staff up to date with legislation.

Lovells pensions partner, Jane Samsworth, has been chosen as president-elect of the Society of Pensions Consultants, a representative body for the providers of advice and services needed to operate occupational and personal pension schemes and related benefits. She will succeed John Betts of William H Mercer in June.

Edge Ellison acted for Aston Villa, the club formed by the firm's founding partner Hall Travers Edge in 1870, on its partnership agreement with cable television giant NTL. Travers Smith Braithwaite advised NTL. The firms drew up a £26m convertible loan from NTL to the club, negotiated the company's shares of television rights, and organised a two year sponsorship contract of the club by NTL.