DENTON Hall has lost the head of its tax department to US firm Sidley & Austin's expanding City operation.
Tax specialist Drew Scott, an equity partner with Denton Hall since 1988, will be moving to the US firm once his leaving terms are finalised.
He will be charged with setting up a tax department and is the fourth partner from a leading City firm to join Sidley & Austin since it announced major expansion plans last summer.
Next week the firm is to move to larger premises in the Royal Exchange building in the heart of the City.
Scott says he is "very excited" about joining the firm and is looking forward to the new opportunities the move will bring.
London office managing partner Mark Angelson says he is delighted a tax specialist of such a "high reputation and calibre" has agreed to join the firm. "He will be setting up our tax department, and we are in the process of recruiting assistants for him."
A Denton Hall spokesman adds: "Drew obviously felt this particular opportunity was a challenge he wanted to take up and we wish him well."
Scott is highly regarded within Denton Hall and his departure is a setback for the department he headed which has seven specialist lawyers.
One City tax specialist says the move represents a good catch for Sidley & Austin which could have found it difficult to tempt the top partner away from the largest City tax departments.
In July last year Sidley & Austin revealed plans to recruit UK lawyers to build a City operation capable of competing directly with City firms.
Since then it has been setting up banking, information, corporate finance and property departments before embarking on the new tax operation.
Former Cameron Markby Hewitt banking partners Graham Penn and Howard Waterman and Clifford Chance telecomms partner John Edwards signed up with the US firm last year.
The London office has now recruited a total of 16 English lawyers since last summer.