IT specialist Bird & Bird is losing the head of its health group to niche firm Hempsons.
David Stone, who has been with Bird & Bird for 15 years, is leaving because he believes that the firm is likely to move away from health work as it continues to focus on IT, telecoms and intellectual property.
"It was becoming clear that health was not going to feature long term," he says.
Stone is joining Hempsons as a partner in the healthcare litigation department, where he will concentrate on data-based protection and human rights-related work.
Stone believes that the Human Rights Act is likely to raise issues that will find a wide audience in the NHS. He says: "There may well be challenges against trusts on questions of resources, with patients feeling they now have a right to certain medicines. There may also be challenges on data-protection."
Hempsons is best known for its medical, dental and healthcare work, but it is also involved in a wide range of charity work.