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National firm boosts partnership with Hammonds, Eversheds and Blake Lapthorn hires

Shoosmiths has bolstered its corporate practice with a trio of equity partner hires.

Former Hammonds equity partner Martin Letza is set to join Shoosmiths alongside Crispin Bridges Webb and Chris McClure – previously partners at Eversheds and Blake Lapthorn respectively.

Letza, who resigned from Hammonds on 31 March – one of only two days in the year on which Hammonds’ equity partners are able to resign – will join Shoosmiths in Birmingham later this year, once he has agreed his departure terms with Hammonds. Bridges Webb joined the top 30 firm’s Nottingham office in March, but will formally enter Shoosmiths’ equity on 1 May, with both he and Letza sitting in the Midlands corporate group.

McClure will join the Southampton office on 1 May as part of the firm’s south corporate team.

The trio of hires will boost the firm’s equity partnership to 44 and will take the firm’s corporate practice to 22 partners.

Shoosmiths national corporate head Oliver Brookshaw commented: “We have been looking to grow corporate for some time. We want to keep on growing, and we see opportunities for us in this market and will continue to look for quality candidates whenever they come up. The Birmingham office has grown from practically nothing in 2006 to a team of 20 already.”

He added: “What is difficult at the moment is the lack of visibility going forward but we are recruiting these partners because they are proven rainmakers. There is no magic here though, it is a tough market and there is less work, but it is about getting hold of what work there is out there.”

Earlier this year Shoosmiths’ corporate group advised Santander Consumer on the £45m refinancing of car manufacturer KIA’s UK network of 140 dealers, while last year the firm acted for Lloyds TSB Development Capital on the £80m secondary buyout of Leasedrive Velo.

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