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Southwest firm Bevan Ashford has appointed a non-legal chief executive to take over from Nick Jarrett-Kerr who will be stepping down at the end of the month.He is to be replaced by Ann Conway-Hughes, who comes from engineering conglomerate GKN where she was director of strategic capabilities.Prior to that she spent three years at GKN Engage, part of the GKN group where she started as head of human resources and rose to the position of CEO.A non-legally qualified businesswoman, Conway-Hughes has spent most of her career in industry.She will be heading up the firm’s Bristol-based profit pool, which is made up of the London, Birmingham and Bristol offices.The West Country offices will still be headed by West Country managing partner Simon Rous, while Jarrett-Kerr will retain his position as chairman of the joint managing board, which is made up of both of the firm’s profit centres.Last month Jarrett-Kerr unveiled plans to integrate the two profit centres over the next financial year.However at the beginning of this month the West Country partners opened up their own office in London, sparking speculation about dissent between the two halves of the firm.

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