Ashurst Morris Crisp corporate partner Stephen Fox has become managing partner of the firm’s Madrid office.

Fox replaces M&A partner Duncan Stiles, who has reached the end of his three-year term in Madrid. Stiles will return to London as part of the M&A team.

Fox has been charged with continuing the growth of the Madrid office, which, including him but not the outgoing Stiles, has three partners, two of whom are Spanish.

Last October the firm hired BT Ignite Spanish general counsel Gonzalo Jimenez-Blanco and the previous October took on corporate partner Jesus Almoguera.

Ashursts did consider a merger with Nauta Dutilh’s Madrid office in late 2002, but talks did not get off the ground and the Spanish firm eventually settled on a deal with Hammonds.