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Hammond Suddards Edge has appointed Nick Allen as its new national head of corporate finance, as part of a shake-up of the fast-expanding national firm’s corporate team.The London-based Allen, a former Edge Ellison partner, will be taking over at the start of the new financial year in May, filling the role that was left by Richard Burns who last December was confirmed as London managing partner. Allen is currently head of corporate finance in the firm’s London office.Allen’s appointment comes as Hammonds has split up its UK corporate department into three national streams: private equity; mergers and acquisitions; and investment banking. The three streams will be respectively headed by London based partners David Baylis, Simon Gordon and Giles Beale. Gordon, like Allen, comes from Hammonds’ August takeover of Edge Ellison.Allen said the move was part of a drive to raise the firm’s profile in the private equity market, a sector in which it has lagged behind national rivals such as Addleshaw Booth & Co and Pinsent Curtis Biddle.The firm, which now has 36 corporate partners and 130 other fee earners, plans to focus on picking up more institutional clients. “Now that we have critical mass with 65 corporate fee earners in London, we can put a large amount of people on transactions. This is going down particularly well with institutional clients such as banks and private equity houses that like to see real strength in depth.”Allen himself is contact partner to Hammonds’ largest corporate client, advertising giant WPP, which was gained from the Edges merger.In a separate development, the firm has announced it has made up 21 new partners across all of Hammonds’ offices.

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