Hammonds corporate duo quit for Browne Jacobson

Hammonds' Birmingham office has lost two more corporate partners less than two months after Katie Silvester and Paul Cliff left the firm to join rival Gateley Wareing

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.