Newcastle-headquartered Dickinson Dees has cut the size of its ­partnership, with former managing ­partner Neil Braithwaite being one of four people to take on non-­partner roles within the firm.

Braithwaite will become a senior counsel, one partner will take up a corporate social responsibility role for Dickinson Dees in the ­community and two will become directors, said senior partner Robin Bloom.

The firm has also asked two partners to leave, with Bloom ;claiming ;they “weren’t suited” to what the firm wants from the role of partner.

This means the firm’s partnership, which has ­traditionally seen few departures, will have shrunk by six compared with the same time last year. While total partner numbers had been relatively static between 2004 and 2007, growing from 64 to 68, the end of the 2007-08 financial year saw 81 partners in its ranks.

Separately one partner has recently resigned to join another firm and corporate tax partner Christian Rogers has quit the firm to emigrate to Australia.