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Rogers & Wells' former head of anti-trust, Richard Cirillo, has left to join rival US firm King & Spalding, ahead of Rogers' vote on merging with Clifford Chance next month.
Cirillo, a securities and antitrust litigation partner who has spent his entire career so far at Rogers, joins the New York office of his new firm today (Monday).
Cirillo claims his decision to leave has nothing to do with the merger. "I have been with Rogers & Wells for 25 excellent years, but I have the opportunity to continue my practice with an excellent firm where I have a lot of friends," he says.
But he adds: "If I am going to change firms, this is the nicer of two changes."
Cirillo "passed on the mantle" of the antitrust practice to high earners Kevin Arquit and Steve Newborn in 1997, and has been Rogers' partner responsible for advising the firm on conflicts and other ethical matters.
Cirillo is the second significant departure from the firm in a week. New York corporate partner John Keitt has also left, in his case to join rival firm Dewey Ballantine.