Garretts loses banking head to Halliwell Landau

Garretts' partner exodus is continuing unabated as its head of banking and founding partner of the Manchester office is leaving to join Halliwell Landau.

Highly-rated northern head of banking Susan Molloy is leaving for Halliwells in the new year. At the same time, Shabnam Qasim, a share scheme partner at Garretts' Manchester office, is quitting for PricewaterhouseCoopers' Birmingham practice.

The departures are the latest in a long line of resignations at Garretts, Arthur Andersen's associate firm.

The firm has lost 10 high profile lawyers in the last five months, including Molloy's colleague Ian Akitt, who was the head of banking at Garretts' Leeds office.

Akitt left for Walker Morris in October.

Molloy, who joined and helped set up Garretts' Manchester office in 1995, says: “I have come to a time in my life when I want to make a push into something else. The platform I needed wasn't there [at Garretts].”

Molloy admits that the migration of partners from the firm has influenced her decision to leave. She says: “It is bound to have an effect. I think to keep the high level of work you need the right sort of people around you. You need a firm that is outgoing and entrepreneurial which Halliwells is.”

Tim Hamilton, managing partner at Garrett's Manchester office, says: “Partner mobility is one of those things. We are trying to do things here that not everyone agrees with.

“We are doing things with the Andersen framework that doesn't suit everyone. Susan decided that it did not suit her.”

In her role at Garretts, Molloy was also responsible for the banking teams at the firms' Leeds and Birmingham offices.

Her clients include Natwest and Co-operative Bank.

Molloy admits that she will be taking clients with her in her new role as banking partner but declined to elaborate further.