Watson Farley & Williams is losing its head of competition, leaving the department with no partners and only a handful of assistants.
Frances Murphy is set to join Rowe & Maw's well-regarded competition practice. Murphy has been the sole competition partner at the firm since the departure of Richard Wish last year.
A source says: “I am not surprised, she has a broad-based practice, while Watson Farley is more focused on shipping.”
Rowe & Maw has been searching for competition recruits since the departure of Brussels-based Catriona Hatton in August.
An inside source says the firm is planning further expansion and has its eye on a number of associates. But the source says: “It is the first time that we have had a London-based partner in this practice area.”
Murphy, who is known for her aviation client base, is set to practice from Rowe & Maw's London office. She is set to join the Rowe & Maw next year, although a start date has yet to be set.
Watson Farley was unavailable for comment.