Founding partner of London firm Scates Rosenblatt, Steven Scates, has separated from the practice in an "unamicable split".
Scates, who set up the firm with Ian Rosenblatt more than five years ago, has joined Nicholson Graham & Jones as a partner. The City firm says it is also recruiting Scates's assistant Loretta Peddell next month.
Scates, who says he left because of a difference of opinion over where the practice was heading, is hoping to recruit three more people from his old firm.
However, Rosenblatt insists that the firm, which this week drops the name of its founding partner, has grown considerably and the loss of Scates is not significant.
He says the split has occurred because of "different levels of aspiration".
"Some people are more suited to the cosy environment of a large practice than the more competitive environment of a progressive, highly motivated and profitable base such as this."