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Commercial property and project finance partner Stan Gniadkowski is leaving DJ Freeman to join City rivals Wilde Sapte.
Gniadkowski is one of 12 new partners in what the firm says is its largest ever batch of appointments. All the other partners have been promoted internally, an unusual move for a firm of Wilde Sapte's size.
Gniadkowski, who was with DJ Freeman for more than eight years and specialises in PFI work, is due to start his new job on 1 July. He refused to comment on the move.
DJ Freeman chief executive Jonathan Lewis said he would be sorry to see Gniadkowski go, but that he would not be replacing him with a new partner.
"We do have several other partners who do the kind of PFI and commercial property work he did," Lewis said.
Mark Andrews, senior partner at Wilde Sapte, said of Gniadkowski: "He caught our eye because what he does now fits extremely well with what we do. He's a fine lawyer with a very good reputation."
Of the other 11 new partners, nine are based in the UK, one in the firm's Tokyo office and one in New York.
All are drawn from the firm's main practice areas: banking, finance, company and commercial, and insurance.
They are: Corinne Aldridge, Richard Barham, Martin Bartlam, Giles Brand, Diarmuid Brennan, Bill Bruinooge, Debbie Carslaw, Mario Jacovides, Gayl Russell, Paul White and Neil Woodgate.
The appointments bring Wilde Sapte's total number of partners to 77.