Bird & Bird and DLA Piper have been dealt a blow after partners Hubert Best and Martin Soames recently left their respective firms to set up a media boutique.
The new firm, which officially opened last Monday (2 October) in Clerkenwell, is called Best & Soames and will focus on media law and clients.
Soames told The Lawyer that the boutique would exploit cost savings to undercut the rates of large firms.
"We can provide the same services, but with a more realistic cost base," said Soames. "We don't need the same infrastructure, such as a big library."
Soames advises book publishing clients such as Random House, while Best advises the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the London Chamber Orchestra. Soames said that many clients had vowed to make the move to the boutique with them.
As well as cost savings, Soames said that a key advantage of working in a boutique was that City firms refer work without fear of losing clients.
Soames said: "Some big firms would not have been so keen to refer work over to DLA Piper or Bird & Bird. But we don't do corporate law and won't go after clients in that way."
Best and Soames, who came up with the idea together while at Biddle & Co during the 1990s, left Bird & Bird and DLA Piper respectively on 29 September.