Penningtons‘ Newbury office has been snatched by South East firm Thomas Eggar after internal wranglings over the future strategy of the firm, The Lawyer can reveal.

The office, home to 84 people, including 10 partners, approached Thomas Eggar after differences with central management over strategy. Penningtons had undertaken a firmwide review and concluded that it should streamline into three divisions across all locations.

Thomas Eggar managing partner Tony Edwards said: “”We have regional-based management and that is a strategy that has worked very well for us. If you have the right location you can get the right people. This year we expect a group turnover of £40m, up from £33m last year.

“Our aspiration is to be the leading firm of the south by 2010 and that means we have to continue to grow by between 15 and 20 per cent year on year.”

Franco Bosi will head Penningtons’ business services division, Peter McElligott will head commercial property and managing partner Lesley Lintott will lead private individuals.

The Newbury office specialised in private clients and commercial business. It is understood to have approached Thomas Eggar at about the same time as Thomas Eggar was aiming to accelerate growth with the opening of an office in Southampton, which is slated to open in the second quarter of 2008.