Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees is planning an expansion into the Tees Valley region within the next 12 months.
The 48-partner firm is still considering how it will establish itself in the area, which covers Middlesbrough, Darlington, Stockton-On-Tees and Hartlepool.
It will either give a group of Newcastle-based partners special responsibility for the Tees Valley or will establish an office in one of the four main towns.
Partner John Flynn says: “We think there are lots of opportunities for us in the Tees Valley. We may have partners looking at business opportunities [in the region] but we have not ruled out opening an office there.”
He adds that the decision was prompted by an increasingly large number of clients wanting representation right across the North East and beyond.
Fellow Newcastle practice Jacksons is already established in the region and has offices in Middlesbrough and Stockton.
Last week, Dickinsons poached employment partner Robin Bloom from Jacksons.
Bloom has been with the 18-partner firm, which also has an office in Leeds, since 1985. He will join Dickinsons’ human resources group in the new year.
Flynn says of the appointment: “We went to Robin because he is a good fit with our human resources department. He has a reputation in the industrial tribunal area.”
But Jacksons has responded by making up four new partners.
They are: Andrew Twineham (employment); Nigel Kidwell (litigation); and Ailsa Adamson and Anthony Patterson (insurance).