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Pannone senior partner Joy Kingsley is leaving the Manchester firm after 32 years to join local rival JMW Solicitors.
Kingsley will leave Pannone in June and become senior partner at the £9m turnover firm from September, in what is a newly created role there.
JMW managing partner Bill Jones said: “JMW is at the forefront of championing the changes we’re experiencing with the Legal Services Act. We’re creating a corporate structure and [developing expertise] that’s not just about legal issues. It’s great to have somebody with all the ideas that Joy has to come in at this stage.”
Kingsley made her name as one of just a handful of female managing partners at a top 100 firm, generating growth at Pannone during her tenure from 1995 until 2008 when she handed over to former corporate head Steven Grant.
At that point she became the firm’s first senior partner, with responsibility also for private client business development.
Her move comes as Grant has announced that he will not stand for reelection at the end of year, with Emma Holt due to replace him from January 2011.
Pannone will now hold elections for the role of senior partner in the coming months.
Grant said: “Joy’s made an immense contribution to the firm and played a pivotal role in developing Pannone into an extremely successful law firm. We wish Joy all the very best in her future venture and thank her for all of her achievements during her career at Pannone.”
Kingsley said: “I’ve greatly enjoyed my time at Pannone and have been proud to be part of its success. I decided to move elsewhere as I felt it was time for something different. I’m looking forward to joining the management team at JMW and being part of the development of a smaller but very ambitious law firm in its ascendancy.”