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Departures and Cutbacks Take Ashurst Partner Exits to 22
Ashurst has seen 22 partners leave its limited liability partnership since January -- equating to around 10 percent of its partnership as it stood at the beginning of the current financial year.
The top 10 London law firm, which had 235 partners at the beginning of May, has seen 22 partners leave the LLP since the start of the year, either voluntarily or at the request of management, with one further partner stepping down to become a counsel. In comparison, only four partners left the Ashurst LLP over the whole of 2008.
The number of departures is higher than the figure initially predicted in January, when it emerged that 10 partners were to leave Ashurst's equity over the course of this year in response to the economic downturn, including retirees.
Only three of the 2009 departees have retired -- corporate partners Paul Gadd, Michael Johns and Roger Finbow -- with the trio thought to have retained minor consultancy roles with the firm. Ten partners in total have left in London.
In recent months a number of Ashurst partners have emerged at rival firms. Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, Field Fisher Waterhouse, Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, Pinsent Masons and Simmons & Simmons are among those hiring Ashurst partners -- some of whom have left voluntarily -- in London. The firm also saw four partners leave in Milan, including the local office's two leaders.
Ashurst managing partner Simon Bromwich said: "It is essential to shape the business so that we emerge strongly from the downturn. This also includes our continued investment in major lateral hires in important growth areas."
Despite the departures Ashurst has continued to recruit high-profile laterals including construction partner Ann Minogue from Linklaters and highly-rated restructuring partner Dan Hamilton from White & Case.
The departures, confirmed through filings with Companies House, do not cover the entire Ashurst partnership as several international offices are outside the LLP. However, the firm has only seen one partner exit outside the LLP since January -- energy and transport partner Paul de Cordova, who left the Dubai office to join K&L Gates.
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