Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) has recruited Lovells senior associate James Parker as a partner to begin rebuilding its corporate practice.
During BLG's latest round of internal promotions, none of the seven senior associates made up to partnership were in corporate, which was seen as a blow to the practice following a number of high-profile departures.
The corporate team lost two of its leading partners, John Cadman and Peter Hill, to CMS Cameron McKenna in March. Highly rated reinsurance partner Michael Mendelowitz quit in February for Norton Rose.
Head of corporate Keith Snedden said the hire of Parker, whose practice includes insurance and banking M&A, was part of the firm's continuing intention to expand in the area. "Like many in the City we've lost a couple of partners to other firms, but the practice is looking to expand its first-class team," said Snedden. "James is, of course, part of this strategy, and when the right hires come along we'll increase our group once again."
The need to boost partner numbers has not led BLG to move away from a full equity partnership. As a result, Parker and any new recruits will continue to join as equity partners.
BLG needs at least two more partners to be in the same position at the beginning of the year.
Snedden hinted that more lateral hires were in the pipeline, but would not comment on how imminent they were.
Parker said: "The firm's corporate team is looking for further opportunities to leverage that client base, so there are real opportunities for growth."