Wragge & Co's ambition to bolster its London office has suffered a major setback following the news that firmwide telecoms head Clive Douglas is set to part company with the firm.
Douglas joined the firm three years ago, just as the telecoms industry entered its worst slump.
Wragges senior partner Quentin Poole said: "No formal agreement has yet been reached, but the firm is in the advanced stages of discussion with Clive concerning his desire for a career change. He's exploring options for a broader commercial role, possibly in-house, and a formal announcement will be made soon."
Douglas joined Wragges in 2000 and became a partner in 2001. Previously, he spent six years in senior in-house legal positions, including those of general counsel and company secretary at World Telecom.
Wragges has plans to grow its London office to 250 staff by the end of 2008. Last month the Birmingham heavyweight added a pensions capability to its London office with the appointment of Linklaters associate Jason Coates as a partner.