Clifford Chance (CC) corporate partner Adam Signy has defected to the London office of Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.

Signy, one of the magic circle firm’s biggest hitters, is Simpson Thacher’s first major corporate hire in London. His departure, which was announced internally this afternoon, comes at a time of turbulence for Clifford Chance.

Last autumn CC managing partner David Childs predicted a profit drop of more than an third this year, which would take top-earning plateau partners from £1.32m down to £900,000.

The most recent financial results for SImpson Thacher saw an average profit per equity partner (PEP) of $2.48m (£1.66m).

A source close to Simpson Thacher said: “Our clients need UK law capabilities. This is something that we have discussed for quite a while now and I
certainly think increasing UK law capabilities is a good move for us.”

“Yes, private equity is slow, but deals are still getting done and there is a lot of work for our London team to do. Adam’s reputation precedes him and he
is a real generalist. In a small office that is essential.

“As a firm we are more culturally comfortable with promoting internally and focusing on organic growth. But this is a very exciting move for us.”

Adam Signy could not be reached for comment.