…as Simmons partner defects to rival

Simmons & Simmons has lost another partner to rival firm Richards Butler.

Roy Montague-Jones, a partner in the corporate department at Simmons, will leave the firm after nearly 14 years. He will join Richards Butler as a corporate finance partner on 20 January.

His departure comes just two months after Simmons lost Gordon Stewart, a banking and capital markets partner to Richards Butler (The Lawyer, 1 November).

Montague-Jones says: “The catalyst for my leaving was the specialist focus that Simmons had decided to implement in the corporate department.”

According to Montague-Jones, the corporate department is split into a number of specialist areas. He says: “The trend within Simmons was that people could only do one thing. I felt after a while it did not suit me, and at Richards Butler I can retain a more generalised focus.”

Stephen Edwards, head of the corporate and commercial group at Richards Butler, says the firm is not specifically targeting Simmons for lateral hires. He says: “It is just one of those things. A number of partners have been leaving the firm.”

Last year Simmons lost nine partners including the highly-rated John Russell – who co-founded the firm’s securities practice.

Simmons declined to comment.