Another week and another partner quits Simmons & Simmons.
Christopher Lewis, Helen Newman, Christopher Woods, Clare Potter, Steve Bryan and Jerry Walter have all left in the last three months. And now head of banking Nicholas Fisher is going.
So what is going on over at CityPoint?
Fisher, primarily a borrower acquisition finance lawyer, is going to Addleshaw Goddard, a firm that has undergone something of a renaissance since its merger.
So just how much of a loss is Fisher? He was the partner of choice for corporate partners who needed finance support on the firm’s biggest M&A transactions. For instance, he advised on the firm’s talismanic Northumbrian Water deal and on the Canary Wharf bid.
Sources say that he is good with corporate clients and his departure will no doubt be a blow to that department.
Although he was head of banking, ironically the finance department may suffer less. Simmons’ standalone bank- focused finance practice is now far more important and influential within the firm than its borrower-focused corporate support practice.
Either way, Fisher is a good hire for Addleshaws, but there may be a few political fireworks when he joins. The firm is keen to stress that Fisher does have a lender side pedigree (although market sources differ) and will be targeting the banks when he joins.
But the firm already has someone in London doing that – Karl Woolley. It is not quite clear who will be in charge. All Addleshaws will say is that they are both very important to the firm’s acquisition finance strategy.
Politics are also the order of the day at Lovells, where the three-person shortlist for the managing partner job was finalised earlier today (6 October).
The nominees are head of finance David Harris, EU and competition head John Pheasant and the man who at one stage appeared a rank outsider, head of commercial Andrew Skipper.
Just think back to the senior partner elections – in the run-up nobody thought John Young had a chance, but he beat favourite Hugh Nineham to the job. Perhaps the firm is set for another surprise.