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Law Firm Partner Moves in London


Click here for Partner Moves March- April 2022


Welcome to the 68th edition of law firm partner moves, 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.



This bi-monthly round-up contains 79 partner moves – unsurprisingly down 5% on the 83 we saw for the same period in 2021 (a record year in real terms), but comfortably above the cumulative five-year and ten-year averages - 71 and 68 respectively. In terms of laterals (partner-to-partner hires), there were 60 in total, an 8% drop on the 65 this time last year.




The most acquisitive firm this edition was international verein Squire Patton Boggs, which hired five partners (four lateral, one vertical), across white collar crime, privacy, and projects. 



The two most striking moves this edition were: Boston-born Ropes & Gray’s swipe on US rival, Fried Frank, for a three-partner private equity team; and Linklaters’ raid on Houston headquartered Vinson & Elkins for a leveraged finance/ high yield trio. The Linklaters hire marks the third large-scale grab on the beleaguered London office of Vinson & Elkins over the past 9 months - which has also seen it lose similar sized private equity/ finance teams to Sidley & Austin and Gibson Dunn & Crutcher



Linklaters is far from the only magic circle firm to hire this edition: Allen & Overy, Clifford Chance,and Freshfields welcome laterals from Skadden (international arbitration), Norton Rose (TMT), and Dickson Minto (private equity) respectively. Indeed, 2022 has seen the usually conservative magic circle cabal hire 10 partners so far.



In addition to Linklaters and Ropes & Gray, over the past two months, two other firms have taken on three partner teams:  Harbottle & Lewis (TMT and data privacy from Deloitte Legal) and Osborne Clarke (energy and finance from Orrick). Simmons & Simmons also joins the list of top recruiters this edition with three hires comprising a leading real estate duo from Stephenson Harwood and a vertical hire in renewable energy from Clifford Chance. Similarly, DLA welcomed three laterals across project finance, public law, and tax from Shearman & Sterling, Bates Wells, and BCLP, respectively.


Top partner recruiters in London March– April 2022


 Squire Patton Boggs  5  
 DLA Piper  3  
 Harbottle & Lewis  3  
 Linklaters  3  
 Osborne Clarke  3  
 Ropes & Gray  3  
 Simmons & Simmons  3  



Team hires in London March– April 2022


Harbottle & Lewis  3  
Linklaters  3  
Osborne Clarke  3  
Ropes & Gray  3  
Edwin Coe  2  
Simmons & Simmons  2  



Of interest to avid market watchers is the rare appearance in this edition of the intensely secretive Dickson Minto, which sees the c. 25 partner Scottish/ London private equity boutique lose no fewer than two private equity laterals to Freshfields and (reportedly) King & Spalding respectively.         



In March 2022 Laytons ETL Global acquired real estate boutique Cannings Connolly; Edwards Gibson does not record the transfer of individual partners to their new entity on merger as a “partner move”, but for reference, this merger resulted in the transfer of only two laterals with a further five partners decamping to alternative law firm Gunnercooke.  



Also of note in this edition


  • Two firms hired from in-house: Dechert (from Bank of America Merrill Lynch) and Reed Smith (from Novartis)
  • 37% of all hires were female 
  • 24% of all moves were non-partners moving into partnership




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   scott.gibson@edwardsgibson.com


Sloane Poulton, Director   sloane.poulton@edwardsgibson.com


Mark Coates, Senior Consultant   mark.coates@edwardsgibson.com



Please click here to understand our methodology for compiling Partner Moves







Click here for Partner Moves March- April 2022








Previous Issues: 


Partner Moves January- February 2022



Partner Moves November- December 2021

Partner Moves September- October 2021

Partner Moves July - August 2021

Partner Moves May - June 2021

Partner Moves March - April 2021

Partner Moves January - February 2021



Partner Moves November - December 2020

Partner Moves September - October 2020

Partner Moves July - August 2020

Partner Moves May - June 2020

Partner Moves March - April 2020

Partner Moves January - February 2020



Partner Moves November - December 2019

Partner Moves September - October 2019

Partner Moves July - August 2019

Partner Moves May - June 2019

Partner Moves March - April 2019

Partner Moves January - February 2019



Partner Moves November - December 2018

Partner Moves September - October 2018

Partner Moves July - August 2018

Partner Moves May - June 2018

Partner Moves March - April 2018

Partner Moves January - February 2018



Partner Moves November - December 2017

Partner Moves September - October 2017

Partner Moves July - August 2017

Partner Moves May - June 2017

Partner Moves March - April 2017

Partner Moves January - February 2017



Partner Moves November - December 2016

Partner Moves September - October 2016 

Partner Moves July - August 2016 

Partner Moves May - June 2016

Partner Moves March - April 2016

Partner Moves January - February 2016



Partner Moves November - December 2015

Partner Moves September - October 2015

Partner Moves July - August 2015

Partner Moves May - June 2015

Partner Moves March - April 2015

Partner Moves January - February 2015



Partner Moves November - December 2014

Partner Moves September - October 2014

Partner Moves July - August 2014

Partner Moves May - June 2014

Partner Moves March - April 2014

Partner Moves January - February 2014



Partner Moves November - December 2013

Partner Moves Sep - Oct 2013

Partner Moves July - August 2013

Partner Moves May - June 2013 

Partner Moves March - April 2013

Partner Moves January - February 2013



Partner Moves November - December 2012

Partner Moves September - October 2012

Partner Moves July - August 2012

Partner Moves May - June 2012

Partner Moves March - April 2012

Partner Moves January - February 2012



Partner Moves November - December 2011

Partner Moves September - October 2011

Partner Moves July - August 2011

Partner Moves May - June 2011 

Partner Moves March - April 2011

Partner Moves January - February 2011


For further information, or to discuss current trends in lateral partner recruitment, please speak to one of the Edwards Gibson consultants.


Squire Patton Boggs       

Related download: Lateral Partner Moves in London – March- April 2022
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Articles by Scott Gibson

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