DLA Piper’s joint head of private equity Darryl Cooke is to leave the firm to head up Hill Dickinson’s Manchester corporate practice.

Cooke, who has also served as DLA Piper’s UK regional private equity head, is known for representing private equity institutions and corporate clients on management buyouts, IPOs and mergers and acquisitions. He also advises on directors’ duties.

Hill Dickinson senior partner Tony Wilson said Cooke’s appointment will enhance the firm’s corporate strength and allow it to offer a new level of expertise to businesses throughout the north west.

Cooke said Hill Dickinson has become one of the fastest growing UK firms in the past five years, adding that he has been given the task of creating the strongest corporate law practice in the north west of England.

In addition to his legal work Cooke has been active in founding iNlaws, a group for in-house heads of legal of north west companies and is currently in the process of establishing iNspire, a charitable organisation to support the establishment and growth of charities.