Law Firm Partner Moves in London - Issue 70

July - August 2022

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Welcome to the 70th (platinum) edition of Law Firm Partner Moves in London, from the specialist partner team at 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.

  • July – August 2022

It is passing strange that in the context of: rising interest rates, skyrocketing inflation, a global energy crisis, international trade tensions, 1970’s-style industrial unrest, crippling government debt, UK political chaos, the fracturing of the post-World War Two global rules-based system … not to mention a full scale European land war, that law firm partner recruitment remains at near record levels. This bi-monthly round-up contains 60 partner moves – up 13% on the 53 we saw for the same period in 2021 (and 15% and 19% more than the cumulative five-year and ten-year averages for the same period – 51 and 49 respectively).

The most dramatic hire this edition was Paul Hastings’ raid on fellow West Coaster Latham & Watkins for a four partner finance team comprising of no less than Latham’s global vice-chair of banking along with both of the co-chairs of its London finance team. The move, part of a quintet of hires by Paul Hastings announced over the past couple of months, is partially offset by the departure of two finance laterals to Atlanta headquartered King & Spalding.

In a still rare, but clearly no longer unprecedented move, Slaughter and May loses another lateral in their prime - corporate lawyer Robert Chaplin - to Skadden Arps. Coming so soon after the loss of corporate star Murray Cox to fellow New Yorker Weil Gotshal last year, even the once immutable partnership that is Slaughter and May must be asking questions; after all to lose one corporate lateral, Ms Finkler, may be regarded as a misfortune; to lose both looks like carelessness - that or, more likely, the realisation that elite US firms can now routinely raid even England’s finest on its home turf.


  • Top partner recruiters in London July – August 2022

  • Paul Hastings hired 5 laterals
  • Davitt Jones Bould, DLA Piper, DWF, Freshfields, King & Spalding, Kirkland & Ellis, Mayer Brown, RPC, Shearman & Sterling, Skadden, Watson Farley & Williams and Withers (12 firms) hired two partners-a-piece


  • Now you see me …

One potential move which we have not reported in this round-up but which was (fleetingly) reported in The Lawyer, complete with a detailed press release, before the article was withdrawn without trace, was the announcement that Covington & Burling had hired disputes lateral Stephen Surgeoner into its insurance team from Dechert.


  • Also of note in this edition

  • 33% of all hires were female
  • 22% of all moves were non-partners moving into partnership, including moves from in-house


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 or +44 (0)7788 454 080

Sloane Poulton, Director or +44 (0)7967 603 402

Mark Coates, Senior Consultant or +44 (0)7541 666 856


Please click here to understand our methodology for compiling Partner Moves

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