Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld has lost its entire restructuring capability after Reed Smith Richards Butler snapped up the team in preparation for an expected downturn.
Cross-border restructuring partner Jeff Drew and associate Nuala Barratt joined Reed Smith on 1 June, leaving Akin Gump with no restructuring capability in London.
Reed Smith UK managing partner Tim Foster said the raid was in response to the market anticipation that an economic downturn will prompt an increase in corporate restructuring.
Akin Gump, which has a 20-strong restructuring practice in New York, has no plans to replace the two, said managing partner in London Fred Heller.
He added: "We have a large and successful practice in New York which will be able to take on all the international restructuring work the firm has. We will not be looking to recruit any new partners to the London office."
Drew hopes his experience in the property, manufacturing and automotive sectors will complement Reed Smith's US restructuring team.