Stephenson Harwood loses corporate duo

City firm Stephenson Harwood is losing two corporate partners to accountancy tied law firms KLegal and Tite & Lewis.

Following the departure of head of corporate finance Judith Shepherd to US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher in May, partners Patrick Rodier and Peter Bradley are leaving.

Rodier is following former colleague Malcolm Hurley to Tite & Lewis, the associated law firm of accountants Ernst & Young. Rodier specialises in inward and outward investment involving Europe and the Far East.

It is only the second partner-level lateral hire at the firm, which was set up at the start of the year when Christopher Tite and Mark Lewis left PricewaterhouseCoopers’ law firm Landwell. Both Tite and Lewis were partners at Stephenson Harwood before joining Landwell in 1997.

Bradley is a partner at Stephenson Harwood & Lo, the firm’s joint venture in Hong Kong and China. He has decided to return to London and is joining Tite & Lewis rival KLegal, the associated law firm of accountants KPMG.

KLegal managing partner Nick Holt says: “Corporate is one of the key growth areas, given the strengths of KPMG corporate finance in the UK and in Europe. We will continue to grow corporate, and I would like to grow into a very substantial corporate group serving KPMG here and in the regions from London.”

The two departures will be a blow to Stephenson Harwood, which has seen a raft of partner departures over the last year. The firm is halfway into a three year restructuring plan with the aim of achieving a minimum profit margin of 30 per cent and average profits per partner of more than £300,000.

Part of achieving those objectives is a “partner reduction programme”, according to the firm’s chief executive John Pike.

Neither Rodier nor Bradley was available to comment.