MacFarlanes' head of litigation is stepping down after 10 years, and at the same time his intended replacement has announced his resignation.
Tony Thompson, a highly rated partner in both litigation and employment law, will relinquish the running of the department to litigation partner Willie Manners.
Manners will take over from 1 January 2000.
Litigation partner Andy Millmore was also approached for the post.
However Millmore, who has been with Macfarlanes for 15 years, is resigning after returning from a five-month sabbatical.
Robert Sutton, senior partner at MacFarlanes, says: “Tony will remain a partner.
“He has been head of litigation for 10 years which is a long time in the job.
“It is time for someone else to take on the role.”
Commenting on Millmore's decision to quit the firm, Sutton says: “We had talked about the possibility of him taking over, but he had not taken any decision.”
He emphasises that both Millmore and Manners had been asked to consider the role.
Sutton says he is unsure what Millmore plans to do after leaving the firm.
He adds: “The only decision he has taken is that he does not want to be a City lawyer.”
Millmore says: “I wanted to do something else.
“However, having worked at a mainstream firm, I have no desire to go anywhere but MacFarlanes, it is one of the finest firms of its type.
“We all anticipated that I would have my sabbatical, relax, come back and go on to the next stage.”
However, he says he has ultimately opted to move away from being a City lawyer but has not yet decided what he will choose to do when he leaves the firm next spring.