Edge & Ellison's head of insurance Robin Humphreys and insurance litigator Steven Garrett are defecting to the Birmingham office of insurance practice Weightmans.
They are the latest flood of lawyers Edge & Ellison has lost to Birmingham rivals in the past year.
Their departures are part of a shake-up at the firm following its failure to merge with Pinsent Curtis and its refusal to merge with Dibb Lupton Alsop, which eventually led to the resignation of senior partner Digby Jones in February.
Humphreys said that Edge & Ellison did not share his vision of the future of the insurance law market, one “where the major insurance companies instruct law firms able to provide national coverage of consistent quality at a competitive price”.
He added that the firm had made a “perfectly proper” decision to concentrate on corporate and commercial property work, but that this was “incompatible with what we need to do”.
James Retallack, new senior partner at Edge & Ellison, said the firm “was sorry to see them [Humphreys and Garrett] go but understood their reasons for leaving as not everyone shares our vision of the future”.
The firm's insurance litigation department will now be led by Chris Davis, the only other full-time insurance partner.
Weightmans is currently in talks with Teeside firm Jacksons and has approached a London firm, whose name it will not reveal, with a view to creating a national insurance defendant litigation practice.
Edge & Ellison is taking on two associates at its London office tax specialist Simon Court from Macfarlanes and Norton Rose corporate finance specialist Trevor Ingle. These moves follow the news, revealed in The Lawyer earlier this month, that two Manches partners, Andrew Knight and Andrew Visintin, will shortly be joining Edge & Ellison's London office.