Partners at the Leeds-based private client practice Wrigleys – which broke away from Dibb Lupton Broomhead last year – have lured two more former colleagues, Tim Knight and Richard Sutton, into the partnership.
The firm has also recruited Richard Archer, a consultant at Hammond Suddards, as a pensions, tax and private client consultant.
Wrigleys was founded a year ago by Matthew Wrigley and Ann Duchart from Dibb Lupton Broomhead (now Dibb Lupton Alsop) after Dibbs shed its private client department.
It concentrates solely on private client and charities work.
Knight is a trust and pensions specialist and Sutton was once head of Dibbs' Intellectual Property department. He has also worked in the Lloyds's names litigation.
Sutton, who acted as a consultant to Wrigleys during its first year, has been appointed managing partner and will advise Wrigleys' clients who are also Lloyd's names.
He said both partners wanted to work for a smaller firm and that their departure from Dibbs was amicable.
“Tim had been unhappy at Dibbs for some time. Over the last year or two he regarded it as a machine and while he supported it, he wanted a change,” said Sutton.
“I had expressed a desire to make this sort of move before I got to 50 a long time ago.”
John Winkworth-Smith, regional managing partner at Dibbs, said: “We are sad to see them go. Both were long-standing partners at the firm but a small firm probably suited them better.”
He said the move was part of a general trend in law firms. Earlier this year Dibbs' London office lost its tax and private client team to Lawrence Graham. Eversheds' Birmingham office private client team joined Matineau Johnson in March and Theodore Goddard's private client department set up on its own as Smyth Barkham in April.
Winkworth-Smith said that Dibbs was trying to decide what to do about private client work. “There is a trend for firms to split off private client from commercial work. Other commercial firms have done that and I think there is an inevitable progression towards focus and commercialisation.”