The new 250-strong West Midlands law firm Challinors and Cartwright & Lewis, whose merger completes on Saturday, has announced its first promotions.

Richard Shaw, from Cartwright & Lewis' personal injury team, and Mark Kenkre, from Challinors' dispute resolution arm, have both been made up to associate.

Mr Shaw, aged 31, has been a Cartwright & Lewis employee since joining the firm as a trainee in 1997.

Mr Kenkre, aged 27, joined Challinors as a trainee solicitor in 2002 and qualified in January 2004. Based at the Edmund House office in Birmingham city centre, he specialises in commercial litigation, with particular emphasis on telecommunications, property and partnership disputes.

Senior partners, Trevor Lee and Fiona Debney, commented: "Mark and Richard have proven track records of conducting their business in their respective fields with a high level of professionalism and specialised experience.

"Their approach to client relations and the results they have achieved for their growing client portfolios have been noted. As such they are evidently on course to enjoy successful careers, with a promotion to associate being a well-deserved next step.

"Coinciding with the merger, these latest senior-level promotions demonstrate that it is very much business as usual for the newly-formed firm. Our commitment to retaining staff and rewarding progress remains as strong as ever, and this is reflected in the extensive and experienced skills base which we are now continuing to build on as we enter this new era."

The firm has 33 partners and approximately 120 fee earners.