A&O, Linklaters in double swoop for Clifford Chance partners

Clifford Chance is set for a double partner departure to two rival magic circle firms.

Allen & Overy (A&O) is poised to make a rare lateral hire from the real estate department, with the partnership currently voting on the arrival of Robert Porter.

Meanwhile, junior banking partner Stephen Lucas is set to quit for Linklaters’ finance group. Lucas, who made his name as an associate on the huge Cognis financing, is the third Clifford Chance partner to quit for Linklaters in the last year. He follows IT and telecoms stars Tim Schwarz (The Lawyer, 23 February) and Christopher Millard.

Porter is the lead partner in Clifford Chance’s real estate funds and investment banking (Refib) group. He joined from CMS Cameron McKenna with fellow partner Arthur Dyson in 2000.

Clifford Chance appointed Porter to head the Refib group when it was launched a year ago to bridge the private equity and property practices.

It is believed that a vote on Porter’s entry into the A&O partnership was nearing a close when The Lawyer went to press.

A spokesperson at A&O said: “We’ve been actively looking to increase the numbers within our real estate practice for some time and have been looking at partnership candidates. We’re not as yet in a position to announce any arrivals.”

Last year, A&O’s real estate team brought in around 5 per cent (£12.9m) of the firm’s overall turnover.

Clifford Chance and Linklaters declined to comment.