Osborne Clarke is poaching a key partner from City-based firm Laytons as part of a drive to expand its construction department.
Laytons' national head of construction John Redmond is moving to Osborne Clarke in May to take up the same title there. Osborne Clarke has no construction partners and only two full-time assistants in this area of law.
The firm is also hiring Jonathan Brooks, who is currently head of contentious construction at Nabarro Nathanson's Sheffield office. He will become a partner on arrival at the firm in the same month.
Meanwhile, construction assistant Priscilla Hall is set to be promoted to the partnership from within the ranks of the firm.
Leslie Perrin, managing partner at Osborne Clarke, says an increase in work has led to the expansion of the department.
Perrin says: "Construction is an area in which we've enjoyed increasing success in the past two years, both in contentious and non-contentious work."
Redmond will head the department at the firm's Bristol office.
He says: "Osborne Clarke has a bigger commercial operation. I am attracted by its commercial client base.
"But as yet it does not happen to do construction, or does little, so the opportunity to develop my specialism at Osborne Clarke is fantastic."
He adds: "I will be taking a number of clients with me."
Laytons has three partners in its construction unit and, although the firm refuses to comment, no replacement for Redmond is thought to have been found.
Redmond says as soon as he arrives at his new firm he will start looking to recruit more partners and assistants for his department.
Initially, only one assistant will work under the three construction partners.