Eversheds is losing two banking litigation partners from its Bristol office before it shuts in May.
Peter Fisher-Jones will become the head of litigation, a newly created post, for Citibank and the investment bank arm Schroder Salomon Smith Barney, after working on secondment at Citibank since October.
Osborne Clarke OWA is taking on Nicolas Mehlig who specialises in banking and recoveries litigation for lending institutions and the banking industry.
Eversheds is closing its Bristol office and has offered the 61 staff, which includes 25 fee earners, roles at its Cardiff branch (The Lawyer, 5 February).
However, it is understood that the departure of Fisher-Jones and Mehlig had already been determined before the decision to shut Bristol was made known.
Managing partner David Ansbro says: "The departures are unconnected with the closure of the office in Bristol.
"We are particularly sorry about Peter but we wish them both well."
Mehlig is due to join Osborne Clarke in April and, according to managing partner Leslie Perrin, will consolidate its relationship with a number of shared clients, including Bristol & West and Lloyds TSB.
Perrin says: "He does a lot of banking litigation for a lot of the major clearing banks which has always been a big part of our business."
While Eversheds has a highly regarded litigation partner in Cardiff including Peter Jones, who is currently acting on the Bloody Sunday inquiry, one source says: "The loss of two banking litigation partners will leave them with a bit of a hole."
Mehlig leaves the firm after three years, before which he practised at Sussex-based Adams & Remers. Fisher-Jones was originally a lawyer with Holt Philips which merged with Eversheds in 1994. He trained at Linklaters & Alliance and was was seconded to investment banks including UBS, now part of Warburgs.
Mehlig and Fisher-Jones were unavailable for comment.