International law firm Coudert Brothers is losing a partner to Hertfordshire legal practice Stanley Tee & Company.
Jeremy Gillham is moving to set up and head a commercial property department at 12-partner Stanley Tee.
He says: "This is a new challenge for a 47-year-old because it is a small firm with a big work ethos and I will have fun doing it. I met the partners and liked them."
Gillham joined Coudert Brothers in 1997 when the firm acquired the practice he was then working for, eight-partner niche commercial property firm Debenham & Co in London.
He says: "I have learnt a lot at Couderts about hard work and efficiency. They drive themselves hard. It has been an interesting time.
"I enjoyed it but whether I could have bashed on at this pace is another matter. If I had come into Coudert Brothers when I was 25 and had grown up with the culture I would have found it easier than at 45."
Gillham says that geography was also a consideration for him. "There are a lot of commercial property developments in Hertfordshire at the moment, and I live there and am involved in the local community there," he says.
Stanley Tee managing partner David Redfern says: "From our point of view Gillham is coming to us because commercial property is expanding.
"We are splitting off the commercial property and commercial practices. He will be heading the commercial property side.
"Coming from Couderts means he has a lot of experience."
Last October, Couderts took on top European competition partner Alastair Gorrie, from PricewaterhouseCoo-pers to launch its London competition practice. Gorrie was previously based in Brussels.