Niche insurance practice Elborne Mitchell has been hit by a wave of departures, losing four of its 14 partners.
Hammond Suddards, Eversheds and Holman Fenwick & Willan have all hired partners from the firm, which has conceded that the moves were prompted by differences over strategy.
Hammonds' recruit is Ed Stanley, a leading reinsurance practitioner, who joins the firm's Lloyd's office with his assistant, Irene Stavrou. He would not comment on the reasons for his departure but said his new firm as 'progressive'.
His former colleagues at Elborne Mitchell, Peter Driscoll and Simon Brooks, have both joined Eversheds' insurance group in London.
Brooks said the move would give them the opportunity to develop their practices.
The fourth defector from the firm is Roger Balson, whose move to Holman Fenwick & Willan was reported in The Lawyer last month.
Balson had approached the firm seeking a move.
The Lawyer understands the departures stemmed from a disagreement over the long-term strategy at Elborne Mitchell, including how to cope with a reduction in work arising out of Lloyd's Names' litigation.
Elborne Mitchell senior partner Andrew Pincott said there had been differences but the firm would concentrate on its traditional practice areas.