Architecture firm cuts jobs as it shifts focus, including partner who helped re-develop the business

Austin-Smith:Lord announced this week that partner Rob Firth will leave for rival HOK later this month, after spending less than a year with the architecture practice.

The firm, which designed the regional office for the Welsh Assembly government at Llandudno Junction, announced Firth’s departure along with details of a major restructuring of the business.

The restructure, which resulted in the loss of six jobs in the North-west, involves the firm focusing on the transport, industry and infrastructure, building renewal, urban regeneration and international arts and culture sectors.

This week Firth said: “I anticipate the markets they are aiming at will suit the enormous expertise and experience within Austin-Smith:Lord.”

Firth rejoined the firm after leaving Capita in April 2010. He had been brought back to the firm with a business development role in mind.

Partner Neil Chapman said: “Rob assisted greatly in helping the business development. We will focus on key sectors where we have experience and where we think the market will develop”.

No areas of the business are expected to close as a result of the restructure.

Leading the new departments are Neil Musgrove (transport), Ian Brebner (industry and infrastructure), Jennifer Dixon (building renewal), Neil Chapman (urban regeneration) and Nadim Khattar (international arts and culture).