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PROPERTY lawyer Anthony Cooley is the sixth partner to leave Reading-based Pitmans this year by joining rivals Boyes Turner & Burrows.
But Pitmans says business remains buoyant despite the partnership losses.
The number of partners at the firm is now 12. Since the start of the year the firm has made two appointments - John Cole and Peter Jeffery - and one partner, John Linneker, joined and left within the year.
Pitmans managing partner, Christopher Avery, says the firm remains strong despite personnel changes.
"We've increased our client base this year and you never know what position we'll be in by December," says Avery.
"I'm committed to maintaining Pitmans as one of the leading practices in the Thames Valley."
Avery says the recent partnership reduction should be seen in the context of Pitmans' 80 per cent growth in four years during the recent recession.
A specialist in planning, development and property transactions, Cooley joins the commercial group of Boyes Turner & Burrows, which has now has 11 partners and has offices in Reading and Staines.
He says of the move: "I felt I needed the change. I look forward to working with a progressive firm with some positive ideas for business development.
"There has been a slow upturn in the commercial property market, which may quieten down slightly during the winter but it should continue."