The loss will come as something of a blow to Kirkland, which has been building up its UK capacity in order to service US private equity clients out of London.
Earlier this month, the firm took Pricewaterhouse- Coopers tax partner Ian Taplin to give it an international tax capacity in London. Jones herself only moved over from New York last February.
However, Kirkland is a highly-rated firm and should easily be able to hire laterally to replace Jones. The firm’s London managing partner Jim Learner said: “We may go out and look for a lateral, but we have enough lawyers to service our clients’ needs for the moment.”
Some sources in the City claim that Macfarlanes is also in talks to take a Norton Rose partner. Norton Rose chief executive Peter Martyr was unavailable for comment.