Birmingham-based firm Martineau Johnson has a new senior partner, electing head of funds and growth companies Roger Blears to the role.

Blears takes over from incumbent Hugh Carslake, who stands down after three years in the role, on 1 January 2007. Blears will work alongside managing partner William Barker, overseeing strategy for the next three years.

Carslake said: “I was elected three years ago and my aim at that time was to oversee the firm’s move to Colmore Square and to help embed William Barker, the new managing partner at the time. I never intended to be senior partner for a great length of time and decided not to stand again.”

As well as pursuing expansion, Blears will also seek to improve Martineau Johnson’s turnover, which inched up by just 0.5 per cent in the last financial year to hit £19.3m.

Average profit per equity partner (PEP) rose by 12.5 per cent during the same period, hitting £190,000 after 2004-05’s £180,000. Sources close to the firm claim that without two rent-free periods from landlord Allied Irish Private Banking, worth £3.7m in total, this year’s PEP would have been closer to £160,000.

Blears also plans to develop a new client-care programme, and to boost staff cohesion.