Chris Hoyle is one of the leading telecoms lawyers in London, and his departure will be a big blow to Rakisons. The telecoms practice generates nearly a quarter of the firm's turnover.
Hoyle is the third partner to join KLegal this year from a top City firm. Last month the firm poached PFI partner Gareth Davies from Simmons & Simmons and commerce and finance partner Arun Singh OBE from Masons.
KLegal partner James Hodgson says: "Telecoms and outsourcing are key practice areas for KLegal, both of which require a multi-disciplinary approach.
"Chris has already worked alongside professionals from KPMG on telecoms and outsourcing projects and therefore represents an excellent add-on to our existing capability."
He says the firm will be recruiting more people into the practice area in the near future.
Hoyle's expertise includes licensing and interconnection issues, and advising foreign governments including Georgia and Tanzania on the restructuring of their national telecommunications sectors.
Rakisons has appointed two other partners as the new heads of department – Danny Preiskel and Michael Thompson.
The 14-partner firm is also awaiting the arrival of David Judah from Geoffrey Green Russell, who has an internet and technology practice, in March.
Rakisons senior partner Tony Wollenberg says: "We remain one of the few City firms, let alone one of our size, with an excellent and flourishing communications and e-commerce team.
"This first class team remains intact, and will continue to grow under the leadership of our key partners in this field."
Hoyle was unavailable for comment when The Lawyer went to press