Martineau Johnson has poached planning specialist Iain Johnston from local rival HBJ Gateley Wareing to expand its Birmingham planning and environment team.

– Martineau Johnson has poached planning specialist Iain Johnston from local rival HBJ Gateley Wareing to expand its Birmingham planning and environment team. Johnston is to fill the new post as head of the practice. He was a senior associate at HBJ Gateley Wareing.

DLA Piper has promoted Birmingham-based partner Kathy Toon to the role of national head of retail.

– Lovells has expanded its international equity capital markets practice with the addition of a partner in Milan. Roberto Culicchi will join from the Milan office of Clifford Chance, where he has been since 2002.

Shearman & Sterling has appointed Frankfurt-based partner Stephan Hutter as managing partner of capital markets, Asia and Europe. Hutter is currently managing partner of the firm’s Frankfurt office.

– Italian firm Bonelli Erede Pappalardo has implemented a round of partnership promotions. Corporate finance partners Alessandro Balp and Paolo Daino have been promoted from junior to equity partners, while tax associate Stefano Simontacchi and banking and finance lawyers Gianfranco Veneziano and Lorenza Talpo have been made up to the partnership.

– Former Linklaters managing associate Yves Botteman has joined Steptoe & Johnson as a senior associate in Brussels.

Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe has hired corporate lawyer David Lin as a partner in the Hong Kong office from O’Melveny & Myers.

– Boodle Hatfield has appointed Liz Cleary-Rodriguez as an associate in its private client team from Martineau Johnson.

– Paul Weiss Rifkind Wharton & Garrison has elected five new partners: Susanna Buergel and Roberto Finzi in the New York litigation group; Greg Liu and Steven Williams in the corporate teams in New York and Beijing respectively; and Lawrence Witdorchic in the employee benefits and executive compensation group in New York.

Stephenson Harwood has hired Paul Reeves as an employment partner. He joins from McDermott Will & Emery.

Morgan Cole has promoted several associates to senior associate level. They are: Paula Kathrens, Ian Jones, James Egan, Jayne McCarthy and Neil Forsyth.

– Essex firm Wollastons has made seven appointments. Assistants Varsha Shah, Francesca Hodges and Maung Aye join from Brachers, Coffin Mew and Adams respectively. Trainee Patrick Gass has now qualified into the employment department. Meanwhile, Andrew Dongworth, Natasha Twaits and Laura Collingwood have commenced their training contracts.

– Scottish firm Archibald Campbell & Harley has promoted two associates, Richard Murray and Kenneth Irons, to the partnership in Edinburgh. Assistants Breda Boyle, Louise Cockburn, Elizabeth MacKay and Alison McIntyre have been promoted to associate level.

Weightmans has appointed Ian Vicary as a partner and head of corporate in Liverpool. Vicary joins from Hill Dickinson where he was head of corporate finance.

– Duncan Sykes has joined South West firm Foot Anstey as a corporate finance partner in the Exeter commercial transactions team. He joins from Wilsons in Salisbury.

Browne Jacobson has appointed Lorna Hardman as a clinical negligence partner from Capsticks.

– Kirkpatrick & Lockhart Preston Gates Ellis has hired partner Mark Turner from Ater Wynne for the Portland commercial litigation practice.

Howes Percival has hired Tony Brewster as an assistant in the commercial property team from Eversheds.

– New Zealand firm Minter Ellison Rudd Watts has appointed Mark Weenink as managing partner. He will take up the role from 28 January 2008. Weenink joins from Challenger Financial Services Group, where he was head of legal in the Sydney-based asset management division. He succeeds Russell Hay, who will retire as chief executive.

– Australian firm DLA Phillips Fox has appointed taxation specialist Margaret Gibson as chairman. Gibson joined the firm in March as a director.

– Burness has made four appointments. Lindsay Wallace, former head of legal at SMG, joins the corporate team as a professional support lawyer. Joanna Elliott joins the commercial litigation team as an associate from Lovells. Emma Dewar joins the property team as an associate from the City of Edinburgh Council. Jonathan Noble joins the employment, benefits and pensions team in Edinburgh as an associate from Standard Life’s legal life services group.

– Thring Townsend Lee & Pembertons has hired Karen Jones as a consultant in its agriculture team. She joins from the County Land and Business Association (formerly the County Landowners Association), where she was chief legal adviser.