Washington DC’s Arent Fox Kintner Plotkin & Kahn has lost another group of partners, this time to Sonnenschein and Sidley Austin Brown & Wood.

The haul includes the firm’s former managing partner and antitrust expert Christopher “Kit” Smith who stepped down from running the firm in May last year to be replaced by Marc Fleischaker, who is also chairman of Arent Fox’s executive committee.

Smith is joining Sonnenschein’s Washington office with tax partner Jeffrey Disbrow and of counsel Stephen Gibson. Healthcare partner William Sarraille is moving to Sidley.

A group of nine partners left early last year to join Thelen Reid & Priest and a total of three partners and four associates have moved to Squire Sanders & Dempsey.

Two partners and an associate also quit the firm for Duane Morris’s New York office.

In 2001, Arent Fox pulled out of Romania and last year, it called a halt to merger talks with Pepper Hamilton.

However, the 200-lawyer firm has been recruiting, and a review that has seen some partners de-equitised is now nearing its end.