Bird & Bird has boosted its Brussels IP team with the hire of Linklaters Brussels IP head Jean-Christophe Troussel.
Troussel's practice focuses on the life sciences and fast-moving consumer goods sectors.
Troussel said: "Linklaters is a great firm but it does have a strong focus on M&A and finance. The strategy is very successful, but I felt my practice didn't fit within it."
Paul Hermant, managing partner of Bird & Bird's Brussels office, said the firm lured Troussel with its focus on IP.
Hermant said: "It's a question of strategy, but not the same one followed by Linklaters. IP is a very significant element of most of our sectors."
Troussel started his career with Belgian firm De Bandt van Hecke Lagae & Loesch in 1990, making partner eight years later. He became a partner at Linklaters when the two firms merged in 2000.
Linklaters global head of IP Nigel Jones said: "The firm's IP strategy remains the same: to focus on the big-ticket clients and projects. The financial performance of the practice continues to be very strong." Linklaters has managed to even the score slightly, winning back IP senior associate Jens Matthes after he spent a year at Bird & Bird's German arm.
Bird & Bird has been hiring aggressively in Europe this year, with Troussel's move following on from four partner hires in the Hague, as well as gains in Sweden and Spain.