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Nelson & Co has poached lawyers from Hammond Suddards, Eversheds and Sheffield firm Graysons in a bid to target work normally done by national firms.
Tim Wimbush has moved from Graysons to become a corporate partner at Nelsons. Peter Middleton joins after being a commercial litigation lawyer for 10 years at Eversheds in Teesside. He will remain an assistant at his new firm.
Andrew Jordan was a partner at Hammond Suddards for 20 years before he moved to the Leeds-based law firm to head a new corporate finance team.
Jordan says: "We are focusing on the northern market and the mid-market area which we feel is in danger of being left behind by bigger firms.
"I don't think the big firms realise how much the mid-sized corporate clients are unhappy with how big the larger firms have grown.
"I think national firms are struggling to keep the local market. Hammonds' London office is a success, but it is debatable whether it still needs us in Leeds."