In yet another blow to Manches, the firm has lost head of construction and management board member James Foster to Lawrence Graham. Foster, understood to be a plateau equity partner, has been with the firm since 1985 but handed in his notice at the end of last year. The news comes after a string of departures from the firm's property department, which has seen seven partners leave in the past 18 months. Foster has been replaced on the management board by Robert Oakes, who also took over as head of construction earlier this year. He has been brought in by Lawrence Graham to replace Alan Hart, who joined Kenn-edys in May. Although Foster's practice is largely contentious work, Lawrence Graham's head of property Stephen Stephens said the fact that Foster's clients are mostly international meant there was little risk of conflicts with the firm's current client base.