Kirkland & Ellis in London has pulled off quite a coup by hiring Weil Gotshal & Manges London banking head Stephen Lucas.

Lucas had been with Weil since 2011 and had been credited with raising the department's profile in London. Under his leadership the firm expanded with the additions of Mark Donald from Hogan Lovells, James Hogben from Ashurst and James Clarke from Freshfields. Donald is expected to take over the stewardship of the UK banking team following Lucas's departure.

Before joining Weil Lucas had been a partner at Linklaters and prior to that Clifford Chance. He has close connections to certain investment banks including Goldman Sachs and acts on a range of leveraged finance and restructuring work.

Before this deveopment, as mentioned above, the London finance team had been expanding, in contrast to the wider firm, which went through a firm wide restructuring in 2012, with over 100 lawyers leaving the firm.

In the UK Weil has been hit with the notable departures of Mark Soundy to Shearman & Sterling and funds partner Nick Benson to Latham & Watkins in the last 12 months, however so far this year the broader finance team has hired both Chris McLaughlin from Hogan Lovells and Andrew Wilkinson from Goldman Sachs.