Forsters snares four Withers partners

<a class=Forsters snares four Withers partners” />Mayfair firm Forsters has secured four partners from Withers following legal discussions over their accession.

After raiding Withers for private client partner Charles Pike and senior US-based partner Patrick ­Harney in November 2007, the firm announced in March that it was about to take a further four partners (The Lawyer, 10 March).

Withers threatened legal action over the moves and said Forsters had been “extremely premature” in making its announcement.

“As Forsters well knows, our partnership agreement specifically forbids the Withers partners from ­joining other firms for ­considerable periods of time after their notices expire in August 2008,” Withers said in a statement.

It is understood that the two firms have since been in legal negotiations over the moves.

Landed estates partner Penny Elliot will join the private client practice later this month. The remaining three – landed estates partner Andrew Lane, private client partner Catherine Hill and corporate partner Craigie Pearson – are set to join Forsters in 2009.

“Penny does a lot of work in the private hotel world and we’ll be looking to expand into that area,” said Forsters managing partner Paul Roberts.

In 2006 the firm set itself the target of doubling the size of its private client ­practice and in the past year has grown it by 25 per cent.

Forsters is now targeting referral work from US firms to underpin further growth.