In the legal sector, many lawyers are leaving their law firms in search of greener pastures during the Holiday Season.

For instance, Pervez Akhtar quit Allen & Overy to join Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer as a corporate head of its Middle East office.

Akhtar was an executive director with Middle East private equity house Abraaj Capital with A&O. Prior to that, he had been head of Middle East corporate at the firm. He joined A&O in 1996 and became a partner in 2000.

Akhtar specializes in corporate finance work including M&A, joint ventures, management buyouts, equity issues and initial public offerings.

However, David Crook bid farewell to Freshfields to join White & Case as a partner to its London office.

Crook worked in Freshfields for 10 years and executed both domestic and cross-border transactions for UK and international corporate and financial institution clients.

He has a strong experience on multi-jurisdiction transactions in major industry sectors such as energy, oil and gas and chemicals, as well as executing deals in high growth markets such as Turkey and Russia.

Meanwhile, Norton Rose has hired Ashurst partner Ashley Wright to lead its Asia Pacific oil and gas team in Singapore.

Wright, who is an oil and gas specialist and has acted on a wide range of other energy projects including geothermal, coal and LNG projects, joined Ashurst's Singapore office in January 2007 from Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy, where he had been an associate. He has experience more than thirteen years in the Asian energy markets.

Norton has also hired DLA Piper partner Marc d'Haultfoeuille to beef up its IP and IT practice in Paris. D'Haultfoeuille's practice includes outsourcing and offshoring, IT, communications, IP and data protection. He advises on transactional and contentious issues.

Worst hit, however, are Mayer Brown and Howrey.

While, Mayer is witnessing the exit of three partners - finance partners Jacqueline Evans and Lee Cullinane are leaving the law firm to join White & Case and construction partner Nick Henchie is leaving to head Vinson & Elkins' international construction practice - Howrey will be witnessing the exit of antitrust specialist Mike Cowie, who will be joining Dechert's Washington, D.C. office.

In recent months, Howrey also witnessed the exit of three top lawyers. They are Gary Bendinger, the co-chair of the firm's litigation practice, and litigation partners Gregory Ballard and Kevin Burke. They will all be joining Sidley Austin.