The first partner to leave the group of Coudert lawyers who joined Baker & McKenzie’s New York office has defected to Hughes Hubbard & Reed, after just a year in the combined team.

Kenneth Page headed Coudert’s global trusts and estates practice for over 15 years before joining Bakers last September, along with 70 other Coudert lawyers in the wake of Coudert’s collapse last summer.

Bakers took Coudert’s New York headquarters after merger talks with the whole firm failed.

The tie-up of the two teams included Coudert’s chairman Clyde Rankin and was hailed by Bakers as a successful combination of like-minded lawyers, giving the firm needed bulk in Manhattan and bringing its headcount to 130.

Hughes Hubbard, which has 300 attorneys bringing in a revenue of $218m (£116m), is strong in corporate/M&A and international arbitration.

Page will be the firm’s sole partner specialised in trusts and estates. Average profit per equity partner at Hughes Hubbard of over $1m (£533,000) compares favourably with an average of $760,000 (£405,000) at Bakers.

Chuck Scherer, Hughes Hubbard’s managing partner said: “We are delighted that one of the top trust and estates lawyers in New York has chosen to join our firm.”