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Welsh Development Agency (WDA) legal director Roy Thomas has departed to join Cardiff corporate boutique M&A Solicitors as it gears up to target the public sector market
Thomas, who joined the WDA nine years ago, will become the fifth partner at the firm and will spearhead its new initiative. "I wanted to go back into corporate life and, to me, they're the best young firm in Cardiff," said Thomas. "I didn't want to go into another institution. "What we're going to do is attack the public sector market, which in Wales makes up about 50 per cent - and with the [Welsh] Assembly it's probably even more." The firm is to set up a separate corporate vehicle aimed at providing general strategic advice to public sector bodies. M&A Solicitors partner Steve Berry said: "We see ourselves as keeping the focus on the corporate side of it, but Roy will enable us to broaden beyond traditional legal services." M&A Solicitors grew out of corporate finance outfit Gambit Corporate Finance and was set up by former Eversheds partners Berry and Alan Whiteley in 1999. It has focused on small to mid-sized corporate clients, particularly in development capital issues. Current clients include Capital Group, IQE and Peters Food Services. Thomas joined the WDA in 1993 and in that time conducted two high-profile beauty parades for legal services. The most recent tender saw Eversheds confirmed as the main adviser to the agency. The WDA is thought to be reorganising its internal legal function, although the structure has not yet been finalised.