Milton Keynes firm EMW Law has scooped Matthew Arnold & Baldwin's (MAB) former chair and joint head of company commercial Moira Myers after MAB refocused its strategy on real estate.
Myers, who has started at EMW, will join the firm's equity partnership on 1 May. She said: "My role, certainly in the early days, is to use my knowledge of north of London and south of Milton Keynes to do a lot of business development."
EMW has vowed to expand aggressively and get closer to London - perhaps even into London itself.
An MAB spokesman said of Myers' departure: "Basically, we're very disappointed to lose somebody who's been with us for four years, but essentially the nature of the business is changing significantly - the strategic focus is going to be significantly real estate-led.
"I guess you end up with some fallout if you shift things around and shake things up. But at end of the day we wish her all the best."
Myers was chair of MAB until 10 January and led a strategy that was similarly aggressive to EMW's. MAB opened offices in London and Milton Keynes and acquired much of the former Fennemores business in the past two years. In 2007 the fee-earner count almost doubled and turnover increased by 18.6 per cent to £14.6m, down from a 28 per cent increase the previous year.