The head of commercial property at the London office of US firm Morgan Lewis & Bockius, Stephen Turner, is to join Baker & McKenzie.
It is understood that Morgan Lewis has still to decide who will take over Turner's position. The firm has no other lawyers advising on property.
Turner says he is taking clients with him, as he did when he moved from Lawrence Graham to Morgan Lewis in 1997. However, he declines to name them.
Turner says the size and reputation of Baker & McKenzie's London office and its strength in property was a key reason for his decision to leave Morgan Lewis.
He says: “The good thing about Baker & McKenzie is that it has a stand-alone property practice.”
Michael Smith, who heads the property department at Baker & McKenzie's London office, says: “We expect him to play a significant role in the continuing growth of the practice.”
Russell Lewin, managing partner of Baker & McKenzie in London, says: “This represents an important investment in core practice areas.”