Niche Stoke-on-Trent firm Heatons has lost its managing partner to London-based corporate finance investment house Arev.

Highly-rated corporate finance partner David Beech is leaving the firm at the end of March. Beech’s departure will be a blow to Heatons as he is the relationship partner for Icelandic retail investor Baugur, which historically had an exclusive relationship with Allen & Overy (A&O).

During Beech’s time at Heatons he has advised Baugur on a string of multimillion pound deals, including its acquisition of UK retailer Goldsmiths and high street women’s clothing retailer Oasis for £110m and £152m respectively.

Most recently, Beech has advised Baugur alongside A&O on its takeover of Linklaters‘ client Big Food Group for £326m.

A spokesperson for Heatons admitted that Beech’s departure is a major loss, but added that the firm hoped to work with him in his new role.

Arev was launched by Jón Scheving Thorsteinsson, who led Baugur’s buyout of iconic toy retailer Hamleys. He left Baugur to form Arev with Andrew Manders, a former KPMG executive.

Heatons is yet to appoint a new managing partner to succeed Beech.