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Clifford Chance (CC) has lost senior asset finance partner Bob Charlton to Freshfields in a move that marks the final nail in the coffin of the no-poaching agreement between the top City firms.Legal Week understands that Charlton had been keen to move to another top City firm after his respected rolling stock and aircraft practice had stalled at CC.Tim Lintott, head of Freshfields’ four-partner asset finance practice, said: “We know him well and have a great respect for him. He will add an extra dimension to an already successful practice.” Lintott said his firm had crossed paths with Charlton on a number of recent transactions. Charlton is not believed to be one of the 10 CC partners who voted against its merger with Rogers & Wells.Tony Williams, CC’s managing partner, said: “I’m sorry he has left us. We wish him well at Freshfields. As far as I know he has left us for entirely personal reasons.”Charlton’s move follows the departure of competition partner Chris Bright from Linklaters to CC in February. Together, their moves herald the end of the unwritten ‘senior partners non-poaching agreement’ between the premier City of London firms.

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