Hammonds has axed its Birmingham professional regulation team as the practice no longer fits with the firm’s strategy.

Group head partner Jayne Willetts, who leaves Hammonds after 19 years, will set up a new office for niche Birmingham firm Townshends, taking six fee-earners from Hammonds with her.

Willetts joined Hammonds when it merged with her former firm Edge Ellison in 2000 and was one of a handful of Edge Ellison partners left at the firm. She said: “My niche practice does not fit with the Hammonds’ current strategy and my ties are with a firm that does not exist any longer.

“There is single-minded focus at Hammonds on its corporate clients and our professional regulators and other professional clients don’t fit the model.”

Hammonds head of commercial and dispute resolution Lucci Dammone said: “Following a review of the firm’s Birmingham-based professional regulations practice it was agreed that the team dealing with Law Society interventions and complaints would be free to leave and join a firm more dedicated to this type of work.”

The news comes just weeks after Hammonds’ chief of international projects and finance William Abraham resigned claiming he also felt that the firm’s strategy did not fit with his practice (The Lawyer, 8 October).