McDermott Will & Emerys London office will be left without a recognised telecoms expert on Friday, when Stephanie Liston leaves to join the London office of Wilmer Cutler & Pickering. At the same time tax partner Jonathan Ivinson is leaving McDermotts for the London office of US firm Hogan & Hartson to launch its tax team. Ivinson joined McDermotts last year from Swiss-based European telecommunications group Carrier1 International where he was head of tax. He confirmed his departure, saying it was a greenfield opportunity and one of those things that you cant turn down. McDermotts tax team will now feature just group head Peter Nias and director Guy Maidwell. Listons departure is a serious blow to the office. Since joining from Baker & McKenzie in July 1999 she has been synonymous with the firms push into telecoms work. Two years ago she was second only to senior rainmaker William Charnley, who was then pulling in £5m, in terms of London billings. Liston's departure comes only five months after the loss of fellow TMT partners Philip Rees and Kathleen Harris, who both joined Hammonds in January. Liston will join Wilmer Cutlers London and Brussels team headed by Michael Holter and Paul von Hehn. It is best known for regulatory and commercial telecoms work for clients such as Verizon and Intelsat. Robert Bratby, business development director at COLT Telecom and a recognised regulatory expert, is also joining the team. McDermotts' senior partner Charnley said the firm will continue to handle telecoms work on a broader base, but would not be looking to replace Liston in the short term. He added that the firm remained committed to growing London. New chairman Harvey Freishtat has also outlined plans for further European growth with new offices expected this year in Italy, France and Belgium.