Locke Lords it in London

The catch with US firms’ success in the City is that their growth always seems to be at the expense of someone else.

Weil Gotshal & Manges’ UK funds launch involved snaring four Clifford Chance partners, while Skadden recently launched a similar practice with one of Macfarlanes’ finest talents.

Houston firm Locke Lord, formed in 2007 out of the merger of an energy specialist and an insurance firm, has become the latest such firm to take a team from a London firm: in this case, Anglo-French outfit Salans (see today’s story).

Seven partners in finance, corporate and restructuring – including banking head Stephen Finch – are heading to Locke Lord in a raid spearheaded by former Salans global managing partner Roger Abrahams, who has been an of counsel at his former firm since leaving the partnership in May. Two consultants are jumping ship too, with one joining Locke Lord as a partner, while Abrahams will take the role of consultant.

Salans has brushed it off as an “integral part of the business cycle”, but it can’t be the only firm in the City wondering when the spate of US raids will end – and who’s going to be the next victim.