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Rowe & Maw has lost its battle to keep Brussels-based competition partner Simon Baxter, who has quit to join Clifford Chance.
Baxter was one of four Rowe & Maw corporate partners planning to join Clifford Chance but, in September, The Lawyer reported that three others in London - Paul Maher, Andrew Copley and Peter Dickinson - had decided to stay.
Rowe & Maw is known to have offered all four the same attractive financial package to stay but Baxter joined Clifford Chance's four-partner European Union competition law practice in Brussels last week.
He said: "There was an obvious difference between the three corporate partners and myself. This move gives me the chance to be a member of a bigger and wider team of competition specialists."
Andrew Carruthers, managing partner of Rowe & Maw, said: "He was offered a very attractive package by Clifford Chance and we are sorry to see him go."
He added that EU law expert Philip Ruttley had joined Rowe & Maw in London from Garretts, expanding the competition practice "in other areas".
Clifford Chance has promoted Charles van Sasse van Ysselt to the partnership of its Brussels office.
Alex Nourry, head of competition at the firm's office, said: "These appointments and an anticipated further partner appointment show the value we attach to having a well-resourced, Brussels-based competition practice."