Hammonds LLP has appointed Chris Eddlestone to head up the firm's national hotel and leisure services team in Manchester.
Eddlestone was the former head of the leisure services group at Halliwells after he joined the company in 1999.
Prior to Halliwells, he previously served 16 years at Birchall Blackburn, where he was one of three senior partners.
Hammonds LLP said legal directory Chambers and Partners recognises Eddlestone as a leading individual and describes him as "a lateral thinker who provides amazing advice."
Eddlestone's clients include Macdonald Hotels, Natural Retreats and City Block.
Jane Haxby, who heads up the Manchester office of Hammonds LLP, said: "We already advise a range of clients in this sector, including Jurys Doyle Hotel Group, Live Nation, Enterprise Inns and Marriott. With Chris' arrival, we are now in an excellent position to build on our expertise and will be on the lookout to attract similar talent to the firm.
Eddlestone has long associations with the leisure sector, having been a director and shareholder of Hutchinson Leisure Group, Apollo Leisure and Brook Hotels. He is also the founder of the Annual Hotels Conference, the largest event for independent hoteliers in the country.
At this year's conference in November, the programme will include break-out sessions on raising finance, expansion and business development decision-making, what the Olympics will mean for the North West region, revenue management, and marketing and distribution.
Eddlestone's appointment follows news of the firm's Manchester office appointing two senior real estate lawyers, partner Mark Gaffney and senior associate David Spinks. Earlier in the year, Hammonds LLP promoted three of its Manchester-based senior associates to the partnership including finance litigation specialist Anthony Taylor who has also hired two new lawyers into his team in April.