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Longstanding Ashurst partner and Legal 500 lawyer Michael Smith is leaving the firm for the growing City office of Los Angeles-headquartered firm Paul Hastings, alongside fellow structured finance partners Diala Minott and Cameron Saylor. Mr Smith is leaving Ashurst after 19 years in the firm’s partnership, where he has focused his practice on structured finance, securitisation, capital markets and derivatives. Ms Minott and Mr Saylor are leaving the firm having only joined in 2014 and 2015 respectively.
Latham takes one
Alongside the trio’s exit is the news that Ashurst financial regulatory partner Nicola Higgs will also be leaving the firm to take up a position at Latham & Watkins. Ms Higgs joined Ashurst from Nabarro in 2010 and worked closely alongside former head of financial services regulation – and fellow Nabarro alum – Rob Moulton prior to his own exit in June. Ashurst has suffered around 30 partner exits over the last 18 months and reported a 19 per cent drop in profit per equity partner from £747,000 to £603,000, marking the firm’s lowest PEP result in over a decade.