Romance at Simmons prompts supremo's exit

Simmons & Simmons' experienced marketing supremo Anne-Marie Stebbings is to stand down from her post in order to marry its chief executive, Alun M orris.

The firm sent an e-mail to staff last month announcing that Stebbings would be looking for a new position because of her relationship with Morris.

Both she and Morris separated from their spouses some time ago. Stebbings said that when she and Morris decided to marry, they discussed with senior partner Bill Knight “what was best for the future”.

“We decided it was best for one of us to look elsewhere for a position,” said Stebbings.

She added that her circumstances made it easier for her to make the move rather than Morris.

The pair decided formally to announce the move to “clarify what the position was”. Asked when the marriage was likely to be, Stebbings said: “That's some way off, we've got to get divorced first.”

Stebbings joined Simmons & Simmons in December 1995 from Baker & McKenzie and is a highly-regarded by marketing managers in other City law firms.

Morris, an accountant and formerly Simmons & Simmons' finance director, was voted chief executive in February 1996 in succession to managing partner Alasdair Neil.