Blake Lapthorn raids rival to launch travel unit

South East firm Blake Lapthorn Linnell has raided local rival Penningtons for a partner to head up its new travel unit.

Personal injury specialist Costas Andrea has been brought on board to lead Blake Lapthorn’s new travel unit which will deal with accident claims arising abroad for individuals and insurers. The new unit is part of firm’s personal injury and clinical negligence practice group.

Alison McClure, head of the personal injury group, said: “We are extremely pleased Costas has joined us to develop the growing area of foreign personal injury claims. He is one of the leading practitioners in the UK in this field, and it is an exciting opportunity for the firm to become a leader in this area of business.”

At Penningtons Andrea was the lead partner of the personal injury and travel department. Prior to this he ran his own firm Andrea and Co, which specialised in this area. Andrea has been joined by Julie Remmington who is a travel claims consultant in the unit.

Blake Lapthorn is set to grow even bigger this year when it completes its merger with Hampshire-based White & Bowker. As first reported in The Lawyer (27 February), the two firms plan to merge on 1 May to create a new regional heavyweight with an estimated £40m turnover.