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The London office of Australian firm Mallesons Stephen Jacques has poached the UK managing partner of Minter Ellison, the only other Australian firm with an office in the City.
Robert Hanley joins Mallesons on September 15 as a partner rather than returning to Australia with Minter Ellison.
Minter Ellison finance partner Nigel Clark (pictured) said: "We are sad to see him go and we wish him all the best. His secondment in London was coming to an end and we have a succession plan in place, part of which was my promotion to partner and we have another senior corporate lawyer Paul Boyle who is heading for partnership."
Both firms have small offices in London competing for the Australian work on international deals or assisting Australian companies operating in the UK. Rowan Russell remains partner in charge at Mallesons.
Hanley was a partner in Minters' London office between 1997 and 2001 before returning to Sydney as corporate chief. He moved back to London as UK managing partner in 2005.
Mallesons is also planning to transfer banking and finance partner Adrienne Showering from its Hong Kong office to London next year.
Mallesons chief executive Robert Milliner said: "Our clients are continuing to pursue global investments and operations and by continuing to evolve our international capabilities we are able to better service their needs."