Top East Anglian firm Mills & Reeve has lost one of its private client partners to Ipswich firm Birketts.
Jim Sawer has been a partner for more than 11 years at regional giant Mills & Reeve, but says he has decided to move because he wants to return to traditional private client work.
He will become head of the three-partner private client department at 21-partner firm Birketts.
He says: "Mills & Reeve is a much larger firm than Birketts and is very commercially orientated. It's committed to high-quality private clients - particularly agricultural and owners of small businesses.
"Birketts has a more general practice and that suits me. I want to be seen as a family solicitor, offering tax and commercial advice."
He will take nearly 90 per cent of his existing clients with him to the new firm.
Bob Wright, managing partner at Birketts, says: "We see the growth of private client work as very important, particularly when the larger firms seem to be wanting to phase it out."