Shoosmiths has added a commercial offering at its Manchester office. It comes hot on the heels of the new planning team, announced in December.
Partner Michelle Sherwood will relocate from the national law firm's Nottingham office to head and develop the commercial team, and has already recruited.
Ursula Gould, a partner and commercial specialist, joins from Pannone, where she advised local, national and international clients, including an oil major and passenger transport executives.
National head of IT, Sherwood is part of Shoosmiths' Commercial department, which comprises nine partners and more than 25 legal advisers.
She has been involved in drafting and negotiating complex long and short-term agreements - including for strategic supply and IT systems - on behalf of key clients such as multi-national corporations and blue chip companies.
Gould advises clients on matters including group reorganisations, mergers and de-mergers; strategic alliances and joint ventures; due diligence; UK and international commercial contracts; and public sector projects.
Sherwood said: "I'm really excited about the move and being given the opportunity to bring our strong commercial offering to Manchester. It shows Shoosmiths' commitment to the city, and is another example of the firm's strategy for growth.
"I'm equally excited to have got Ursula on board. She brings with her tremendous local, as well as technical, knowledge, which I'm sure will prove invaluable in the months ahead.
"We want to bring to the North West our service-oriented, client-centred commercial offering, which helps clients deliver year-on-year cost savings to key segments of their legal spend."
Shoosmiths' commercial team is a past winner at the FT Innovative Lawyers Awards, where it won the billing and fees category for its innovative billing model that helped client Hewlett-Packard Limited drive down its legal spend.
Partner and Manchester head of office Harold Brako said: "With commercial now on board, we're delivering on the growth strategy that Shoosmiths is so committed to, both here in Manchester, and across the rest of the firm.
"And it adds to the financial, corporate and banking, real estate, planning, and consumer advice we're already able to provide."