Weil left with one City tax partner as Ropes picks up tax ace Brenda Coleman

Weil Gotshal & Manges has been left with one tax partner in London after Ropes & Gray hired its star tax partner Brenda Coleman.

Coleman will take up her new role on Monday (16 December) after five years at the firm, which she joined in 2008 from Allen & Overy (A&O). She spent 11 years at the magic circle firm, having previously worked for legacy Herbert Smith and Slaughter and May

The move marks a major blow to Weil’s London tax offering after corporate tax partner Sarah Priestley left for Shearman & Sterling in May (15 May 2013). The 10-strong tax department is led by private funds partner Jonathan Kandel, who is now Weil’s only tax partner in London.

The firm has seen a number of people leave this year, laying off more than 150 lawyers and staff in one of the biggest cost-cutting exercises in years to hit an American law firm (24 June 2013). At the same time as the job cuts Weil also cut up to 30 of its partners’ annual remuneration.

Weil’s executive chairman Barry Wolf said at the time that restructuring and litigation work relating to the 2008 financial crisis had been winding down, while the overall market for transaction activity remained at the lower levels which, he believed, was “the new normal”.

Meanwhile Ropes & Gray is understood to be looking to beef up its London private equity and funds practice.

Co-head of London Maurice Allen said in a statement: “The London office has now grown to over 80 lawyers and the need for additional tax capability is a function of that growth and our commitment to developing our international tax capability.”