Analysis: Heading away from Herbies

Another week, another departure from Herbert Smith’s global disputes practice.

Okay, so today’s news that Hong Kong competition litigator Stephen Crosswell has quit for Clifford Chance came hand-in-hand with the announcement that Herbies has added a litigator from Goodwin Procter (see story), but there’s definitely something in the water.

Just last week Herbies lost a three-partner Paris disputes team to Allen & Overy with erstwhile French disputes chief Denis Chemla, who had been the firm’s head of litigation for Continental Europe, the Middle East and Africa for less than a month, leading the exodus (see story).

This was after investigations and corporate crimes head Peter Burrell defected to Willkie Farr (see story) and commercial arbitration partner David Brynmor Thomas joined 39 Essex Street after 20 years with the firm (see story).

Not really the kind of trend you’d expect from the disputes firm par excellence. Maybe there’s something Herbies isn’t telling us?