Pinsents looks to new partner to boost employment practice

Pinsent Curtis has lured a new employment partner to its Birmingham office in a “push forward” aimed at making it one of the biggest employment departments in the country.

Ashley Norman, lead employment lawyer at Irwin Mitchell's Birmingham office, will move across town on 10 June to join employment partner Colin Goodier. The move will bring the number of Pinsents' employment partners to six nationwide. The firm now has 26 employment lawyers, bigger than many City firms.

Dr John McMullen, Pinsents' national head of em-ployment, says Norman's appointment is part of a wider plan to develop the firm's reputation as a national leader. Further recruitments are planned in each of the firm's three offices, in London, Birmingham and Leeds.

“It's part of a bigger drive. Ashley is a key appointment and we'll be making more announcements in the near future. We have work coming out of our ears at the moment and we see no reason why it won't keep growing exponentially, so we want to push forward.”

Employment lawyers nationally are reporting huge growth and with the reduction of the qualifying period for unfair dismissal to be reduced from two years to one from 1 June, another 2.7 million workers will be eligible to make claims.

Commercial property partner Mary Daunt is also leaving Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham to join Garretts.

Joe Simpson, Irwin Mitchell's lead partner in Birmingham, says the firm still has eight employment partners in the UK and has its own plans for expansion.

“We have already replaced Ashley Norman with Andrew Wylde from Martin-Kaye solicitors in Telford, and we're set to announce Mary Daunt's replacement soon. The Birmingham office continues to expand and will move into new premises this autumn.”