Finers family partners quit

Finers has lost two family partners to London firm Dawson & Co, just a week after announcing the launch of its family law department.

Christopher Butler and Mark Fenton are due to move at the start of the year, leaving Finers with one partner and two assistants in the new department.

Butler was head of litigation at Finers from 1997 until last week, when it was announced he had been replaced by John Hewitt.

Butler has acted for some high value clients, including footballer Paul Gascoigne in his £1.5m out of court divorce settlement earlier this year.

He says: “In the long term I think it makes more sense, from our clients point of view, to move to Dawsons. We have a very big work load, all of which will be coming with us.”

He insists his move has nothing to do with the recently announced merger of Finers and Stephens Innocent (The Lawyer 8 November).

The arrival of Butler and Fenton will boost the highly-regarded department at Dawson & Co to four partners.

Peter Alexander, family law partner at Dawsons says: “We try to compromise cases rather than fight them and I think that is exactly the same attitude that Chris Butler adopts. It will be a good fit.”

A spokesperson for Finers says the pair will not be leaving for a few months and the firm plans to maintain the three-partner structure in the department.