As first revealed on www.thelawyer/lawyernews on 13 March, partners Roger Birchall and Joanne Bligh, both private equity specialists, are to join the Birmingham office of Midlands-based Browne Jacobson. They have been recruited to spearhead the launch of a new corporate practice in the city, targeting deals valued at up to £50m.
The move is a blow to Hammonds, which wants to grow its Birmingham private equity team. But David Hull, Hammonds' corporate head in Birmingham, said: “While we're sorry to see Roger Birchall and Joanne Bligh leave the firm, we feel that Amanda Allen's appointment [from Pinsent Curtis Biddle] has given our private equity practice fresh impetus over the past 12 months.”
Browne Jacobson's head of business services Rob Metcalfe commented: “We've looked at a number of opportunities in the last couple of years, with a view to strengthening our corporate offering across the Midlands as a whole, and have been waiting for the right individuals to become available.”
Birchall and Bligh's exit details are still being negotiated.
As revealed in The Lawyer last week, a 10-partner team has agreed to leave the firm on 1 May to set up an independent insurance boutique. The new firm will be named Robin Simon and will have branches in London, Leeds and Manchester.