Lee moves south to bolster Addleshaws' City practice

The future development of Addleshaw Booth & Co's London office has come under the spotlight again as the firm ramps up its search for a merger or acquisition.
Addleshaws senior partner Paul Lee has decamped to London in order to develop the office, focusing on recruitment and winning clients.
The firm's decision to move such a prominent figure as Lee shows how serious its intentions are to raise its City profile and create a serious player in areas such as corporate finance, property and litigation. By 2005, Addleshaws intends to have created a capability in London equal to its Leeds and Manchester offices.
In the last financial year, the London office made a profit for the first time since it opened in 1998, recording a turnover of £10.8m
Lee hopes to capitalise on the contacts he has made through his involvement with committees of the Confederation of British Industry (CBI). He said: “We want to grow into a reasonably-sized firm in the next four to five years. We're looking at having a leading presence in certain areas like property, private equity, litigation and financial services.”
Lee rules out merger as a definite part of the strategy, but said the firm may try to attract a team of people.
Managing partner Mark Jones told The Lawyer: “At some point there will be a merger or an acquisition. Recruitment in London is currently the single biggest investment. We've taken the view that the best way to telegraph staff in is to have the senior partner in the London office, winning work and playing a more active role.”
The news comes in the wake of Addleshaws' axing of 11 equity partners in order to raise profits.