Trowers & Hamlins has hired Hammond Suddards Edge corporate partner Tony Poole as it continues to grow its corporate department. Staff numbers in the corporate department have increased by 25 per cent in the last 12 months, and corporate work now represents 25-30 per cent of the firm's revenue. "Over the last few years our corporate group has evolved rapidly," said Jennie Gubbins, head of the group. "We have acted in a number of major private company deals and are establishing ourselves as leading players in advising private companies." The firm recently advised on the management buyout of Palmer & Harvey, the UK's largest private company with a £3bn turnover. It now advises two out of the three largest private companies in the UK. The move represents yet another blow for Hammonds, which has seen a number of partner defections over the last 12 months. They include corporate partners David Baylis and Simon Killick, employment partner Catherine Prest, construction partner David Lloyd Jones and insurance partner Michael Lent. Poole, a corporate finance and M&A specialist, started at Trowers last week.