“We don’t view this as ‘just it’,” says Shearman & Sterling London and Brussels head Matthew Readings of the US firm’s trophy hire of high-yield partner Ward McKimm.

The long-awaited hire – finally confirmed last week after months of discussions that were a very open secret in the market – ends a prolonged lateral drought at Shearman in London, coming almost three years after the office’s last significant City lateral hire, of Freshfields TMT co-head Frank Miller.