HBJ boosts property with Hammonds raid

•Anglo-Scottish firm HBJ Gateley Wareing has hired Hammonds property partner Ray Simpson, the fifth partner to leave Hammonds this year. Birmingham-based Simpson leaves Hammonds after 10 years and joins HBJ as a partner. Simpson said: “I’ve known [HBJ property head] Richard Pettifor for years and we have complementary client bases.” Simpson was a salaried partner. He resigned last November prior to a six-month notice period. His client transfers include Midlands-based Hawkstone Properties and commercial property developer Stoford. Hammonds’ former Birmingham property head Michael Park joined HBJ’s Leicester office in July 2006 (The Lawyer, 31 July 2006). Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley recently claimed: “The significant partner losses have come to an end.” HBJ’s Leicester office has also hired assistant Alistair Brennan from local firm Spearing Waite.