In brief: Stockport practice pulls out of Manchester

Stockport firm Smith Fort & Symonds has closed its central Manchester office, six years after it opened. Commercial property partner Ian Fletcher said there were “myriad” reasons why it had decided to close the office, one major reason being that the majority of its clients were in the south of the city. Fletcher, who will move back to the Stockport office, said the property market in Manchester was still buoyant and the city's legal marketplace healthy.