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Pinsent Curtis Biddle has rescued the Birmingham practice of Andersen Legal firm Garretts
As revealed last week on www.thelawyer. com/lawyernews, five partners from Garretts' seven-partner Birmingham office are joining the firm. A sixth Garretts lawyer is also being made up to partner at Pinsents. All of Birmingham's current and contracted trainees now have jobs at Pinsents. Garretts' Birmingham managing partner Paul Finlan will become co-managing partner of Pinsents' Birmingham office with corporate and commercial litigation partner Greg Lowson. Lowson will replace incumbent John Pratt, who is returning to fee-earning. Other Garretts partners joining Pinsents are corporate partners Gary Laitner and Rosemary Jackson, employment partner Catrin Jennett and litigation partner Raymond Joyce. Assistant Alan Wood is being made up to partner. Pinsents is also taking on 24 assistants and support staff, which makes up the majority of the 60-person office. The two Garretts partners not joining Pinsents, Mary Daunt and Tim Wynn, are thought to be taking career breaks. John Crabtree, senior partner at Wragge & Co, Birmingham's largest law firm, said that although he had not approached Garretts, he was extremely relieved for the Birmingham practice. "I am relieved that Garretts has found a safe home. I was slightly surprised that Pinsents has been so bold, but good for them," he said. A Garretts insider revealed to The Lawyer that the Birmingham practice was in talks with two firms with Birmingham presences, one of which is understood to have been Hammond Suddards Edge. The insider also revealed that firms mentioned in documents relating to the merger talks at Garretts have been given code names. The code name for Pinsents was 'Marmite', the reference being that the Birmingham office would be 'toast' without the merger. Although Garretts' Birmingham trainees will have jobs at Pinsents, trainees contracted to other offices are not entitled to a job at Pinsents. "Our trainees are contracted to Garretts Birmingham," said Finlan. Beachcroft Wansbroughs has taken on four partners and a number of staff from Garretts' Manchester office, while Manchester managing partner Tim Hamilton and competition and merger specialist Phil McDonnell went to Addleshaw Booth & Co last month.