I always used to think that over the summer holidays, most lawyers fled somewhere sunny and posh and forgot about work. This, as it turns out, is utter pants. At least it is this summer, with certain firms, mostly US-based, recruiting like mad – and it’s all been private equity lawyers.

First was the Wayne Rooney-like move of Parisian private equity supremo Thomas Forschbach from Ashurst to Latham & Watkins. And now Travers Smith Braithwaite stalwart Mark Soundy will soon be joining Weil Gotshal & Manges’ London office. (Both first revealed on

Okay, so these recruitment efforts, particularly in Forschbach’s case, have been going on since long before the summer started. Soundy, meanwhile, only left Travers Smith in June to take a career break, but it seems that the lure of the law was just too strong for the rainmaker.

There is a trend here, though. Remember, Weil Gotshal scored a coup last year when it took private equity star David Aknin from Linklaters.

But Linklaters has made up some ground since, taking partner Michel Frieh from Willkie Farr & Gallagher’s Paris office.

And talking of other key close season transfers, Orrick Herrington & Sutcliffe’s Paris office has also just made a very nice set of hires from Willkie Farr & Gallagher.

Corporate partner Francois Bloch has moved over to Orrick along with of counsel Saam Golshani and senior associate Sophie Boucher. This is a good move for Orrick Paris, as when the former Watson Farley & Williams team moved to the US firm in November 2002, it was predominantly focused on finance. Bloch et al, with their corporate finance and M&A expertise in the technology sector, is the right step in building out the office into other areas.

And finally, just in case you’ve forgotten (shame on you if you have) The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report is published on Monday (6 September). So reserve your trainee now for that all-important trip to the post room.