People moves

Watson Burton senior partner Robert ­Langley has resigned from the firm’s partnership ahead of a move to North East rival Muckle.

Robert Langley
Robert Langley

Move of the week

Langley, who has been in the top role for the past three years, said the decision was amicable. He has not set a timeline for his departure and said he will stay on after his replacement has been appointed. He told The Lawyer: “The past three years have been about consolidation. Now someone has to come in with the ideas and vision to take things ­forward. This has been a front-stage role and I didn’t really want to go back into the chorus. Muckle is a similar firm to ours, with very nice people, and will be like a home from home for me.” Langley will focus on ­construction and commercial litigation when he eventually takes up his position at Muckle.



Devonshires has promoted Neil Lawlor to ­partner. He joined the firm’s housing management team as a solicitor in 2003 and advises a wide range of social landlords on housing management and property litigation matters.

Lovells has taken on Colin Graham as  of counsel in its London corporate practice. He was previously a senior associate with Torys in Toronto.

Edward Davies has been appointed head of the company and commercial department at ­Rickerbys Solicitors. Davies succeeds Richard Knight, who is handing over the reins after 13 years. Davies has been a partner with Rickerbys for seven years.

Employment and immigration lawyer Julian Cox has joined DKLM as a partner from Maxwell Winward, where he was also a partner. In ­addition, Adam Keeble has joined the firm as an assistant in its commercial property department. Keeble joins from McMillan Williams, where he was an associate.



Thomas Horton has promoted four ­partners: real estate lawyer John Fisher, criminal solicitor Richard Hull, family lawyer Fiona ­Lawson-Hughes, and Jeff Taylor, who works in the ­corporate and commercial department.

Rogers and Norton has appointed two new partners: Peter Hastings and Steve Clarke. Hastings joins the firm after nine years at Steeles, where he was head of the firm’s commercial litigation department.

Clarke has been with Rogers & Norton for four years, working with the conveyancing

team and has become the firm’s first ­non-solicitor partner.



Laytons has promoted family lawyer Emma Gill and employment lawyer John Skelly to its partnership.

Meadows Fraser has expanded its legal team by welcoming Paul Gulbenkian as a consultant. He joins from Gulbenkian Andonian, where he was a partner.



Stephensons Solicitors has hired corporate partner Paula Smith. She joins Stephensons’ Bolton office from DWF in Manchester, where she was a partner.



Harper Macleod has promoted Jill Sinclair, who is based in the firm’s litigation department, to partner. Financial controller Basil Baird has been promoted to partner-equivalent. Harpers also welcomes associate Katrina ­Ovenden, who joins from Freshfields ­Bruckhaus Deringer, while Heather ­Calderwood, Anne Macdonald, Craig ­McKerracher and Natalie Heeps have been ­promoted to associate level.

Russel & Aitken has appointed Des Coyne as head of private client in Falkirk and Alloa. A former partner at Shield & Kyd, Coyne’s workload involves managing complicated estates, cross-border issues and general private client work.

Tods Murray has announced three new ­partners: Richard Leslie, who specialises in rural property and renewable energy, private client lawyer Robert Muir and capital projects lawyer Nigel Sievwright.


Patent lawyer Ralph Nack has joined Noerr’s Munich office as a partner from Bird & Bird, where he was a senior counsel. He specialises in patent infringement litigation, particularly in the electronic area.


Ricardo Sanches and Thiago Flores have joined Dias Carneiro Advogados as partners. Sanches joins from Felsberg e Associados, where he was a partner. Sanches is also a member of the Brazilian Energy Law Institute and the ­Brazilian Association of Infrastructure and Basic Industry. Flores was also a partner at ­Felsberg e Associados, where he worked in M&A and project finance.