Ken Shuttleworth's new practice, MAKE, has pulled off its biggest coup since the ex-Foster and Partners director decided to go it alone at the end of last year.
The office has persuaded Southwark council to hand it the urban design work on the massive Elephant and Castle regeneration project in south London, a Foster scheme until earlier this year.
Foster and Partners drew up the area's development framework up to the point in February when EU regulations kicked in and demanded that the project be retendered.
The council drew up a shortlist of practices to take the design work further, comprising Foster, KPF's London office, Fitzroy Robinson and MAKE.
Southwark council admitted that MAKE's success had 'a lot to do' with the fact Shuttleworth has recruited John Prevc, the project architect who had overseen the scheme while working for Foster.
The AJ understands Shuttleworth's office has now reached a staff of 25, every member of which was formerly employed by Norman Foster.
'It would be impossible to deny that we were keen to keep working with John Prevc, ' Southwark council's assistant project director John Abbott told the AJ. 'We were pleased to reappoint him because he knows so much about the area and the project.
'We look forward to working on the urban design with John as we are convinced that he is the best man for the job, 'Abbott added. 'But there will be buildings to be built as well and we don't want to rule out Foster designing these at a later date'.
Prevc himself said he was excited to be back on the project and that he was 'delighted to be selected to take this work forward'.
'The Elephant and Castle is a passion for Ken, the MAKE team and me, ' he added. 'Jointly with the rest of Southwark's masterplanning team, we believe this to be the most important urban regeneration project in London.'
However, Foster and Partners' senior partner, Spencer de Grey, insisted that the practice was unconcerned.
'This is a large-scale project of great significance - there will obviously be a considerable number of players to realise our vision in the coming years, ' he said.