Needham & James woos Manby & Steward partner

Multi-office Midlands firm Needham & James has tempted an M&A partner from Manby & Steward to head its corporate team as part of its attempt to get younger partners on board.

`Colin Rodrigues will handle small and medium-sized enterprises and owner-managed businesses.`Needham & James senior partner John Hughes said: “We’ve a lot of good people but wanted to recruit partners in their early to mid-thirties in order to ensure that in due course there will be an orderly succession for the practice.”`This is the firm’s third lateral hire in seven months. David Whiting joined from Shoosmiths last September and Richard Cox, originally at Wragge & Co, came from Powergen earlier this year.`Rodrigues said: “I was very happy at Manby & Steward, they’re all very nice people, but Needham & James approached me and offered me the opportunity to work with more Birmingham-based players and the chance to head a team. It was a very hard decision but it felt the right time in my career to make this kind of move.”`He added that he would not take any clients with him because his work at Manby & Steward tended to be one-off deals with owner-managed businesses.`Rodrigues was with Manby & Steward for four years.`Hughes said: “We’ve had headhunters looking for the right person for some time. We were determined to find the right person – someone young, enthusiastic and with an appetite for developing the corporate team. Rodrigues fitted that bill. Also we knew of him and the firm so we knew he had a good background.”