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Australian firm Allens Arthur Robinson (AAR) has swooped for Lovells Tokyo managing partner Tim Lester.
Lester, who heads Lovells' Asian capital markets team, will be joining AAR as a partner in its corporate and finance practice and will be based in Perth, as first revealed on www.thelawyer.com (12 June).
Lester's departure from Lovells is an amicable one as he has chosen to return to Perth for personal reasons. Having been away from the state for 13 years, he said it was time to "return home".
Lester is a big loss for Lovells. He has just completed a $12.5bn (£6.35bn) transaction for Tokyo Marine, topping a string of deals during a storming 2006-07.
Lester will remain at Lovells until March 2008 and as a result a replacement has yet to be found. Nevertheless, Lovells is set to continue with its expansion in Tokyo and Asia and is currently looking to recruit a new expatriate partner for the Tokyo office.
Lovells managing partner David Harris said the firm's plans for Tokyo remain unchanged on the back of a strongly performing Asia market. He said: "We saw growth of nearly 40 per cent last year, which is very encouraging, and we remain committed to building on the ongoing success of our Tokyo office."
The appointment is in line with the strong growth registered by AAR's Western Australia practice. Chairman Jim Thynne has said the Perth office has grown by 33 per cent to 140 people in the past two years.