Speechly nabs Boodle Hatfield partner

Beleaguered law firm Boodle Hatfield has been dealt a blow by the loss of the head of its contentious trust and probate team to Speechly Bircham.

Alison Meek, who had been a partner at Boodle Hatfield for seven years, left the firm on 10 September. She is currently on gardening leave and is expected to join Speechlys’ private client department early next year.

Meek will be the second senior lateral to join the 10-partner private client department in recent months, after family specialist Christopher Butler joined from Farrer & Co in August.

Meek’s departure follows a number of defections from Boodle Hatfield in the last year, including the loss of employment head Warren Wayne to Bird & Bird and its Oxford corporate employment team, led by Russell Brimelow, to Lewis Silkin.

In response, Boodle Hatfield appointed Karen Black, who was a senior associate at Norton Rose, as a partner in its employment department. The firm has also bolstered its private client team with the appointment of partner Ian Cain from Eversheds.

Boodle Hatfield will also move to new premises at 89 New Bond Street, London, in December. The firm has signed a 15-year lease with a 10-year break clause for 29,600sq ft (around 7,000sq ft more than its present location at 61 Brook Street) at £45 per sq ft.