Herbert Smith's Dutch alliance firm Stibbe is relocating corporate and capital markets partner Derk Lemstra to London to head up the firm's City arm.
Lemstra, who is due to move to London in the summer, will replace the current resident partner of Stibbe's London office Gerhardt Vels.
Lemstra's appointment coincides with Herbert Smith's plans to accelerate the integration of the firm's practices with those of Stibbe and its German alliance firm Gleiss Lutz.
Although there are still no immediate plans for a full-scale merger, Herbert Smith's senior partner elect David Gold is keen to bring the alliance members closer together so they have the ability to serve clients as though they are one firm.
The integration has already resulted in partner secondments between the three firms, and in the future there are likely to be more secondments, which may also be opened to junior lawyers.
Stibbe currently has one other partner in London in tax specialist Michael Molenaars. Vels, who moved to London in April 2003, will return to Amsterdam in the summer.