Osborne Clarke has poached leading South West corporate partner Paul Cooper along with rising star Patrick Graves from Bristol rival Bevan Ashford.
Cooper, the head of Bevans' company/commercial practice and a partner there for 16 years, said the approach from Osborne Clarke, which concentrates more on corporate work, had been too tempting to resist.
Bevan Ashford concentrates particularly on NHS work – company/commercial constitutes only about 14 per cent of its workload. The remaining partners in the department are understood to concentrate more on company/commercial than the corporate and Stock Exchange work carried out by Cooper and Graves.
Simon White, Bevans' marketing director, said there were six partners remaining who did corporate work, although he admitted that Cooper and Graves had done the bulk of it when they were there. The firm hoped to maintain its strength in the corporate field despite the dual loss.
Bevan Ashford recruited Graves into the partnership only 16 months ago from City firm Ashurst Morris Crisp where he was an assistant.
Leslie Perrin, Osbornes' managing partner, said the move reflected his firm's strong growth strategy in London and Bristol.