EMMA SEWELL and DUNCAN REID, both from Pinsents, in Birmingham, have joined North-East law firm Ward Hadaway.

Plc expert Ms Sewell joins as an associate. The Cambridge graduate specialises in flotations and advice to listed companies, as well as mergers and acquisitions.

She said: "I am looking forward to developing the plc practice further still and working with the varied and exciting range of businesses in the region. We have already identified a substantial number of potential North-East flotation candidates and look forward to taking them to the markets."

Mr Reid, 33, also joins as an associate, returning to the city where he grew up. He has spent the past ten years working in Birmingham, including two years working as an in-house lawyer for venture capitalist 3i. The Oxford graduate specialises in private equity and also has particular expertise in advising clients operating in the technology sector.