Law Firm Partner Moves in London - Issue 55

January - February 2020

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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.

In all there was a total of 80 lateral partner moves announced in the first two months of 2020 – an 18% decrease on the same period last year and 20% lower than the statistical average (100) for the same period over the past 5 years.

Still there is plenty of hiring drama contained in this edition with most of the running made by US headquartered law firms. No less than five New York law firms: Cadwalader, Milbank, Skadden, White & Case and, unusually, Simpson Thacher all took laterals – the latter nabbing Linklaters’ Head of Tax. Also of note, in a very rare senior level defection from Mishcon de Reya, US firm Greenberg Traurig launched a commercial and financial disputes offering with the hire of two litigation heavyweights which included the head of Mishcon’s leading banking and finance disputes team.

In what is hopefully not an ominous portent of things to come, 8% of all moves were in insolvency/ restructuring with: Kirkland & Ellis, Norton Rose, RPC, Skadden and Dechert (which took a two partner team from Shearman & Sterling), all reinforcing their offerings in the space.

In keeping with its recent form, the most acquisitive firm this round-up was global boutique Brown Rudnick which hired no fewer than four partners – including a three-lawyer corporate team from fellow US firm Baker Botts.

Top partner recruiters in London January – February 2020

Brown Rudnick 4
Greenberg Traurig 3
JMW Solicitors 3
Latham & Watkins 3
Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe 3
Squire Patton Boggs 3


Also of note in this edition

  • 3 firms hired partners from in-house: Simmons & Simmons (SFO), Reed Smith (Deutsche Bank) and Squire Patton Boggs (KPMG);
  • 36% of all laterals were non-partners moving into partnership;
  • 30% of the total moves we recorded were female.


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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