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MARKETING managers in the City are at the centre of a wave of job moves involving at least seven firms.
And the spate of new marketing appointments seems likely to continue as practices which have lost their marketing directors, including SJ Berwin & Co, attempt to entice people away from other firms.
Some observers comment that the moves are a by-product of a more lively legal recruitment market, while others suggest successful marketing directors brought in to set up departments four or five years ago are now looking for fresh challenges.
Simmons & Simmons, Allen & Overy, Paisner & Co and Stephenson Harwood are four City firms which have appointed key new marketing personnel over the past few weeks.
The two most recent announcements are the decision of Anne-Marie Stebbings, Baker & McKenzie director of professional business development, to join Simmons & Simmons as the director of marketing and Wilde Sapte marketing manager Matthew Fuller's pending move to Allen & Overy.
Fuller, who joined Wilde Sapte five years ago, described Allen & Overy as "the number one firm in the country" and said that he wanted a new challenge.
He will be working under Allen & Overy marketing director James Broomfield.
Stebbings, who will replace Peter Drapkin at Simmons & Simmons, said she would be taking on a key business development role at her new firm.
Managing partner Alasdair Neil said Drapkin had left in mid-September by "mutual agreement" and the firm was delighted with the appointment of Stebbings.
"Although we have an excellent marketing department we have not been doing justice to ourselves in the media, we don't seem to have been getting the message across as to how well we are doing," he said.
The firm handled the publicity for the extradition earlier this year of partner David Sandy to New York on charges of tampering with evidence, a public relations exercise which was questioned in the City.
Meanwhile, on Monday, former marketing consultant Rosemary Cooke joins Stephenson Harwood as its new marketing director.
The move follows the July departure of Chris Stokes to become a freelance journalist.
And next week, former SJ Berwin marketeer Fiona McGregor is to become Paisner & Co's new marketing manager following the departure of Louise Hunt, who set up the department five years ago, to an accountancy firm.
SJ Berwin & Co is already advertising for a new head of marketing to replace McGregor. The firm is willing to pay a basic salary of up to £40,000 and says candidates from a City law firm will be preferred.
Baker & McKenzie and Wilde Sapte have also been left with the task of filling recently vacated posts.