City firm Rowe & Maw is taking on ICI's deputy general counsel as a corporate partner.
Bob Peters has been in-house at ICI for more than 20 years and has worked on all the pharmaceutical giant's major merger and acquisition work.
Rowe & Maw is one of ICI's main corporate advisers, alongside Freshfields and Allen & Overy.
But Peters says: "I am not taking the portfolio of work with me. ICI has client contacts there already and I will join the team on general corporate work.
"I'm not putting down any markers on which sectors I want to work in."
Paul Maher, head of corporate at Rowe & Maw, says: "This is a significant coup for us. Bob brings with him more than 20 years experience of the chemicals industry, which is one of our core market sectors."
Peters, who was head of ICI's seven-strong corporate team involved with buying and selling sections of the business, says he has been talking to Rowe & Maw about making the move for a number of months.
"The situation at ICI is changing. It has just about completed its transformation into a specialist chemicals group. We have had a couple of years here of really intensive deal making, but that's almost finished now."
He has known Rowe & Maw for a long time. "Paul Maher used to work with me at ICI and the firm has done quite a number of deals for us."
ICI general counsel Michael Herlihy says: "Bob was a key member of ICI's legal team.
"I can't comment on whether his replacement will be an internal appointment or from outside."
Peters brings the number of partners in Rowe & Maw's corporate department to 16. At the end of last year, the firm recruited tax partner Trefor John from City firm Stephenson Harwood.