THE Big Six law firm Pinsent Masons has appointed a new head of office for Leeds following the surprise departure of Mark Owen to Dickinson Dees, a smaller rival company.
Chris Booth, who has led the firm’s UK employment practice since 2005 and is a member of the CBI council in Yorkshire and Humber, said that he was “absolutely delighted” to take on the role.
He added: “It was three weeks (ago) that I started to engage with the central board on the possibility of taking over the head of Leeds.
“As I said to the managing director, I wanted him to take soundings from fellow partners at Leeds, senior people like Andrew Kerr and Martin Shaw in corporate and Arthur Lovitt in property.
“As I understand it, the partnership was of unanimous view that I was the right person to lead our business in the region going forward.”
Mr Booth said: “I don’t have a 100-day plan. I wasn’t interviewed for the post.
“I have had a role within this firm for eight years, which is running the UK employment lawyer group. That’s a £15m business. I have responsibility for its sales, its people and its profits.
“What I’ve now got to do is take that skill set and take it into the region.”
Mr Booth, 49, was born in South Yorkshire and went to Hull University. He joined the firm in 1987 and became a partner in 1998.
Mr Booth said: “My father was a head teacher. I’m passionate about bringing young people on the best way we can. Business has a big part to play in that. It probably does not play as big a part as it should.”
Pinsent Masons serves a number of big corporates in the region. Alongside working with them, Mr Booth wants to get to know medium-sized businesses and start-ups and help them further their interests.
Mr Owen was appointed head of office in 2010. His resignation was confirmed last week after 20 years with the firm. He is joining the new Leeds office of Dickinson Dees as property partner.
The office is relocating from York and will be at 1 Whitehall Riverside.