UK Sidley & Austin office bags Travers Smith partner

US firm Sidley & Austin is moving into UK corporate finance work with the poaching of Travers Smith Braithwaite partner Mark Pinder for its London office.

Pinder, who said he had arranged to leave before Travers Smith was hit by its involvement in Andrew Regan's failed bid for the Co-op, will be Sidley & Austin's first corporate finance partner and he will be given the task of building up its corporate finance arm.

When Pinder arrives on 1 October, the London office – until now specialising in project finance, IT, tax and IP work – will have 10 partners and around 30 other fee earners, nearly all UK lawyers.

The move is a boost for the firm, which has suffered from the loss of five of its UK assistants this year.

Telecoms assistant Vicki Keats left to go in-house at Oftel, closely followed by banking assistant Tom Hunter, who moved to Jersey for personal reasons. Corporate finance assistant Tony Poole went to Hammond Suddards, property assistant Andrew Forryan became a partner at Clifford Chance, and banking assistant Dan Silver went in-house to British Gas in Reading.

Sidley & Austin partner Howard Waterman said a 10 per cent staff turnover was not unusual for a City firm.