On the day that DWF announced it had broken into the US legal market, the firm’s Scottish practice has been dealt a blow with the loss of a nine-lawyer team to Shepherd & Wedderburn.

Property and infrastructure partners Joanna Hamilton, Anthony McEwan and head of planning Moray Thomson will join the Scottish independent firm bringing its overall partner headcount to 81.

The trio have a particular focus on the energy sector, while the move marks a homecoming for McEwan and Thomson who had been with the firm earlier in their careers.

The three partners will be joined three associates, as well as three solicitors and two paralegals. The team will be based in Glasgow.

DWF’s story in recent years has focused largely on its international expansion, though the last 12 months have seen a number of departures from the firm’s UK offices. Its Manchester headquarters have seen the highest rate of attrition, losing teams to JMW, Addleshaw Goddard and Osborne Clarke in this calendar year alone.

Shepherd & Wedderburn ranked as the UK’s 57th-largest firm in The Lawyer UK 200: Top 100 2018, generating a record £53.5m in 2017/18 which was a 5.9 per cent increase on the previous year’s £50.5m. Its real estate and corporate practices are the main areas for the Scottish firm.

The news also comes weeks after the exit of a 10-strong private client team to Morton Fraser from Addleshaw Goddard’s Scottish arm.

The head of Addleshaw’s private client team in Edinburgh, Gregor Mitchell, moved across to the independent firm, alongside legal director Euan Fleming and a team of eight consultants, solicitors, paralegals and executive assistants.

Both DWF and Addleshaws entered the Scottish market after mergers with local firms. DWF combined with Biggart Baillie in 2012, while Addleshaws acquired HBJ Gatelely in 2017. All of DWF leavers were members of Biggart Baillie prior to the merger.