A "personality clash" has led to a property partner at Hill Dickinson, a leading north west firm, defecting to Manchester rising star Wacks Caller.
Anne Dobie is leaving Hill Dickinson after 15 years, after an alleged clash with her head of department Elizabeth Mackay and senior partner Paul Walton.
One insider at Hill Dickinson said: "There certainly was a personality clash."
Dobie said: "I get the impression that people at Wacks Caller are concerned about my welfare and happiness. I felt at Hill Dickinson that if I'd walked under a bus, that would just have been an inconvenience."
Hill Dickinson, a shipping and insurance specialist, is very profitable, with full equity partners' earnings said to average £275,000.
Sources at the 60-partner firm said it had maintained its success by a "businesslike, authoritarian" approach to individuals' performances.
"There are at least a dozen people who are fairly close to jacking it in at Hill Dickinson," said one source.
However, senior partner Walton said the firm was a "happy practice".