Fast growing Birmingham-based law firm Heatons has appointed 36-year-old Matt Fleetwood as its new managing partner.

Mr Fleetwood replaces David Beech who is leaving the firm to take up a high level post with a Londonbased corporate finance investment house.

He has been with Heatons for eight years and did his training there.

Before that he was at Chester Law School.

He has worked at Heatons' offices in Birmingham and Stoke-on-Trent, and in 2001 was appointed corporate finance partner to launch and run the firm's successful Manchester office.

Under his leadership the office has grown from a small operation to a big player in the North West corporate finance market, with 17 staff and a string of major deal completions in the region.

He said he was delighted to have been asked to take up the post of managing partner.

"It is a great opportunity to lead a firm with the reputation of Heatons. David has been instrumental in putting Heatons into the vanguard of commercial law in the Midlands and North and I am looking forward to building on his excellent work with a great team behind me," he said.

Mr Beech, who is leaving to join Arev, will continue to play a transitional role with Heatons to ensure a seamless transfer of client business.

He said: "I am delighted that the partners have chosen Matt to lead the firm."