People moves

– Former Smithson Clarke lawyer Michael Smithson has launched Smithson Law Firm in Newcastle, which will specialise in commercial property, rural business, joint ventures, debt recovery and service charge collection. Smithson Clarke was dissolved by the partners on 30 September following a decision to establish three new firms from 1 October. The other firms are Clarke Mairs and Warcup Skene.

– Jersey’s Crill Canavan has hired investment funds and employment specialist Andrew Pinel from Ozannes as an advocate in the commercial team. David Le Brocq also joins the property team as a commercial conveyancer from Jersey’s Viberts.

Mourant du Feu & Jeune has made four internal promotions. John Rainer and Simon Felton become partners and shareholders, while Martin Eccles and Bruce Lincoln become senior associates.

Linklaters has strengthened its energy and infrastructure sector capability in Dubai, moving senior associate and energy and infrastructure specialist David Charlier into its local projects practice from London.

– Lesley Wisey has joined DLA Piper‘s Edinburgh office as a professional support lawyer. She joins from MacRoberts, where she was a corporate associate. Garry Allison has also joined as an assistant in the finance and projects group from North Lanarkshire Council.

– US firm Curtis Mallet-Prevost Colt & Mosle has hired Andrea Stimmel for the newly created role of business development director. Stimmel, who joins from Blank Rome, will focus on strategic business development while overseeing the firm’s marketing and communications programme.

– Simon Staples has joined Keoghs non-delegated team in Coventry as an associate from Davies Lavery in Birmingham, where he was a partner responsible for handling high-value claims involving serious head and spine injuries. Eric Woolley has joined Keoghs’ liability team as a senior legal executive, from Halliwells in Manchester.

– Francesca Massarella of Southampton firm Paris Smith & Randall has become a solicitor-advocate. She is a specialist in the firm’s family team and is the firm’s first solicitor-advocate in its 190-year history.

Keelys Solicitors in Lichfield has hired matrimonial law specialist Katherine Haden as an associate partner. Haden was formerly with Birmingham firm Challinors.

Pinsent Masons pensions partner Alastair Meeks has been elected as chairman of the Association of Pension Lawyers, which aims to promote awareness of the importance of law in the provision of pensions.

Coffin Mew has made Scott Greenwood a partner. Greenwood heads the social housing litigation team. He joined the firm in April 2005 as an associate.

Payne Hicks Beach has appointed Matthew Cowan as a partner in its company commercial department. Cowan was previously a partner at in Guildford.

Ashursts’ Milan office has taken on senior associate Claudia Cattarin from Allen & Overy. She will join Ashursts’ Milan competition team.

Williamsons Solicitors has hired two associates to its matrimonial department, both from Hull firm Brooke Williams. Fiona Buchanan joins the Hull office, while Zoe Atkinson joins the Driffield office.

Farrer & Co has appointed Burges Salmon associate Karen Phull as a planning law specialist in its property department.

Middleton Potts has appointed Phillip D’Costa as a partner in its commercial litigation team. He specialises in dispute resolution and joins from boutique firm Pettman Smith.

Vertex Law has taken on former Furley Page partners Jeremy Licence and Rebecca Tinham. Licence joins the property and environmental team as a partner, while Tinham becomes head of dispute resolution. Solange Latham has also joined the competition team as an associate from the Office of Fair Trading.

Forsters has hired two senior corporate assistants. Richard Heath joins from Royds Solicitors and Cosmas Wong from JP Fletcher & Co.

Archibald Campbell & Harley has made up associates Richard Murray and Kenneth Irons in Edinburgh. Murray is a probate lawyer and Irons specialises in commercial property. The firm also promoted Breda Boyle, Louise Cockburn, Elizabeth MacKay and Alison McIntyre from assistant to associate level.

Hammonds has hired associate Nicola Clark from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for its antitrust, competition and trade group. She will start in Hammonds’ Manchester office. #Wallace has promoted litigation specialists Meera Patel and Craig Thompson to the partnership.

– German firm Beiten Burkhardt has elected two new equity partners: Frankfurt-based banking, finance and insurance lawyer Claudia Leyendecker and head of the Kiev office Felix Rackwitz.