Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Nicholson Graham has hired Jonathan Lawrence as a banking partner as part of its programme of growth in banking and real estate finance. He joins after four years at Allen & Overy, where he worked in real estate finance.

James Chapman & Co has appointed Peter Meloy as a partner. Meloy, a personal injury specialist, joins from Preston firm MWR. Meloy said: “James Chapman has an excellent reputation in insurance and I’m joining a team with specialist expertise in catastrophic injury.”

Watson Farley & Williams has appointed Laurence Martinez Bellet as a partner in its Paris office. Bellet joins the international finance group. “Laurence has extensive experience in asset finance, specifically shipping finance, and will significantly add to the further development of our French law practice,” commented group head Mike Vernell.

Two new assistant solicitors have joined the wills, trusts and probate team of Reading firm Field Seymour Parkes. Hazel Webb joins from the Oxford Institute of Legal Practice and Victoria Harris joins from Ipswich firm Birketts Solicitors.