A sizeable chunk of Nottingham-based firm Nelsons' construction team has departed for local rival Browne Jacobson
The move comes as Nelsons restructures its construction department following the loss of key partner Leslie Gray, who died in the Hatfield rail disaster. Partner Russell Deards has moved to the Nottingham office of Browne Jacobson together with a solicitor and trainee from the group. Only lead partner Andrew Shipley and consultant Jocelyn Taylor remain at Nelsons. Tim Hastings, managing partner at Nelsons, said: "The departures suit us as much as they suit them." Nelsons' construction group has struggled since the death of rainmaker Gray. Gray had a good client base in the North East, which the firm found hard to retain after his death. Nelsons originally took on Deards and the others as general commercial litigators. They continued to work on commercial litigation as the construction department struggled. The firm is now looking to build a new group that specialises solely in construction law, focusing on the East Midlands market. According to Hastings, a new lateral hire is imminent.