LEADING family law firm Gordon Dadds has lost two of its partners to rivals Withers.

Gill Doran and James Harcus, who became partners in 1981, leave at the end of March. They join Diana Parker's team on 1 April.

“This is a tremendous opportunity,” said Doran. “Withers is the best private client firm and it's that which attracted us. It's a dynamic firm with a dynamic team.

“During the course of the last few years they have taken advantage of the polarisation going on in the law between commercial and private client work and they've taken on the top fallout of private client lawyers from firms like Clifford Chance, Travers Smith Braithwaite, Lovell White Durrant and Slaughter and May.”

Harcus said that although it was likely many of the pair's clients would follow, the split was amicable.

“But my strong feeling is that clients are not chattels to be traded between solicitors. They have their own feelings about these things and they must be given every importance,” he added.

Douglas Alexiou, Gordon Dadds senior partner and head of its family law department, confirmed the moves were amicable and said the department remained strong.