Lee Crowder recruits Pannones' commercial expert

Birmingham firm, Lee Crowder, has tempted company and commercial partner, Mark Hodge away from Manchester's Pannone & Partners.

But the 15-partner firm denies that it has gone back on its “no-poaching” stance, revealed to The Lawyer in an interview with Lee Crowder's senior partner, Stephen Gilmore, earlier this year.

Head of the company and commercial department Graham Muth says: “This is a guy who wants to relocate to the West Midlands and approached us. He left with the blessing of his old firm.

“We're not in the business of poaching anybody. There is a marked distinction between poaching people and taking people who want to come. We would be silly to turn down an opportunity like this.”

Muth says the firm, and the demands on the corporate department, in particular, have grown rapidly since it moved back to Birmingham from Edgbaston two years ago.

Two weeks into his new job, Hodge has tied up two deals that included the disposal of Manchester-based Computer Advisory Centre to DCS Group plc in a deal potentially worth more than u1m.