The haemorrhaging of lawyers from Edge & Ellison to Birmingham rival Dibb Lupton Alsop continues with the departures of two senior property associates.

Retail and leisure specialists Jane Rothwell and Anne Lamb were to be considered for partnership at Edges this May. They will instead join Dibbs as partners to help it build a retail property practice in Birmingham.

In the last year, Edges has lost 14 lawyers to Dibbs.

Rothwell, who is eight years qualified, said: “The opportunity to develop retail and leisure within Dibbs is enormous.”

It is understood Edges wants its retail property side to service other areas of the practice rather than as a central practice in its own right.

Edges parted company with managing partner Digby Jones last month following failed merger talks with Pinsent Curtis and Dibbs itself. It is understood Edges partners split into pro and anti-Dibbs factions when Dibbs made its approach.

Nick Seddon, Dibbs' Birmingham managing partner said that Rothwell and Lamb's departure had nothing to do with the failure to merge but more to do with their wish to build a leisure and retail practice, specifically aimed at breweries.

Dibbs is aiming to build up a practice in Birmingham to rival the current “big four” in the city Edges, Eversheds, Wragge & Co and Pinsents.

Meanwhile, in London, it has recruited Berrymans Lace Mawer former head of environmental law Steven Francis to its commercial litigation group.