Osborne Clarke is poaching a key corporate partner from Pinsent Curtis' City office as part of an attempt to strengthen its venture capital group in London.
Geraint Lloyd will help to strengthen Osborne Clarke's City venture capital group by doubling its number of permanent partners and bringing clients with him.
He starts this week. Lloyd was a partner at Pinsent Curtis for seven years.
Previously, Kieran O'Connor ran the unit with part-time assistance from three corporate partners who specialised in other areas - Andrew Saul, head of Osborne Clarke in London, Tim Birt and James Massy-Collier.
Lloyd is bringing valuable venture capital companies with him, such as Close Brothers and Murray Johnston.
Saul says: "In terms of strategic importance for us it is very good because venture capital is a key area that we want to develop.
"This really helps our department in London. I would expect venture capital work to increase by at least 50 per cent."
He says the office's venture capital work has risen anyway over the last year, and Lloyd is being employed so the corporate department can stay on top of increased demand. Much of the work has come from venture capital initiatives in Europe, especially Germany.
Saul says: "We have won so many new clients over the past year. Geraint will help us meet demand. He also brings with him new contacts and experience which will benefit the City office.
"He has a very close relationship with Close.
"Close are very big in venture capital, and Murray Johnston is also a big player in private equity."
Lloyd says: "I'm sure that my current practice and future aspirations will thrive within Osborne Clarke's 'feel-good' culture."
A Pinsent Curtis spokeswoman says: "He is a good lawyer and we are sorry to see him go."