Hammonds has lost yet another construction partner as London-based Richard Cooke goes in-house to construction giant Bechtel.

Cooke joins the US company after five years as a partner at Hammonds. He will take up the role of senior counsel at Bechtel. The company has a five-strong legal department in the UK, as well as lawyers elsewhere around the world.

Cooke is the latest in a stream of construction partners to have quit Hammonds in the past two years. The most recent departure was Manchester partner Sean McCay, who left to go to Pannone.

In March 2005 Hammonds’ construction team suffered its greatest loss when five partners decamped for Addleshaw Goddard‘s Leeds office.

Cooke’s practice has covered both contentious and noncontentious construction work, and he has advised on matters such as the redevelopment of King’s Cross station.

Bechtel has its headquarters in San Francisco, but also has offices in locations as diverse as Peru, Qatar and Turkey.

The company’s US general counsel Katherine Gurun recently retired after five years in the role to become a full-time mediator, to be replaced by Judith Miller.