Law Firm Partner Moves in London - Issue 53

September - October 2019

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Welcome to the latest round-up of lateral partner moves in the legal market from Edwards Gibson; where we look back at announced partner-level recruitment activity in London over the past two months and give you a ‘who’s moved where’ update.

Despite the wider economic damage inflicted by the UK’s seemingly never-ending Brexit purgatory, it would appear that the market for lateral partners in London commercial law firms remains in something of rude health. Ten law firms hired three or more laterals in this edition and we recorded a total of 106 lateral partner moves – 18% up on the same period last year and an astonishing 31% increase on the statistical average (81) over the preceding 5 years.

Of particular note this round-up is the launch of two new law firms: The long-awaited arrival of US AM Law 100 firm Alston & Bird, which kicks off its City offering by nabbing three partners from two fellow US firms, and the pending launch of a six partner shipping boutique Preston Turnbull, which tears itself away fromClyde & Co in reportedly controversial circumstances.


Top partner recruiters in London September – October 2019

Preston Turnbull (new firm)                                    6                 
Akin Gump 4
Alston & Bird (new firm) 3
Dentons 3
DLA Piper 3
Kingsley Napley 3
Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe 3
Reed Smith 3
Rosenblatt 3


Top partner recruiters in London 2019 (year to date)

Dentons                                                                  14                
Fieldfisher                                    12
Akin Gump                                     9
Baker McKenzie                                     9


Also of note in this edition

  • Six firms hired partners from in-house: Akin Gump (Pricoa Private Capital), Boies Schiller Flexner (Barclays), DLA Piper (Aviva), HFW (Elix Aviation Capital), Reed Smith (Johnson & Johnson) and Taylor Wessing (Sumitomo Electric Industries).
  • Including moves from in-house, 27% of all lateral moves were non-partners moving into partnership.
  • 27% of all lateral hires were women.


Time will tell if the London lateral partner market’s ability to seemingly defy gravity will continue in the face of mounting global, as well as Brexit inflicted, economic challenges and the further uncertainties arising from UK’s decision to hold a snap general election in December. Rest assured our next bulletin will zoom in on the coming two months in detail - as well as providing our usual year-end summary packed with fun facts and figures.  


Please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to discuss this article or any other aspect of the market in more depth.

Scott Gibson, Director

Sloane Poulton, Director

Mark Coates, Senior Consultant


Please click here to understand our methodology for compiling Partner Moves


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