Leading Australian practice Blake Dawson Waldron has poached two senior partners from rival Deacons Graham & James.
Michael Wynter and Roderick Mackinnon are joining the firm, with senior associate Cameron Marks.
International trade and resources partner Wynter has been with Deacons Graham for nearly 30 years, as head of the commercial contracts division.
His clients include a wide range of lucrative Australian mining corporations, alth-ough it is not known if he will take any of these clients with him.
IT partner Mackinnon, who is both Australian and US qualified, has been with Deacons Graham since the early 1990s.
The departures come just before Deacons Graham's cross-state merger is expected to be completed on 1 February.
It is one of the last firms in Australia to move from being a series of aligned offices in individual states to a fully-merged national practice.
The top ten firm has lost a raft of partners during integration.
Last year Minter Ellison poached the bulk of Deacons Graham's Canberra office, creating the biggest non-government practice in the capital (The Lawyer, 3 November 1999).