Succession plans at one of London's biggest commercial practices, Hamilton Associates, are in doubt following the departure of one of the office's biggest names.
Roy Collado has resigned from the practice, taking with him four colleagues including Jon Collins, to set up a new firm called Collado Collins.
Collado was recruited from Chetwood Associates four years ago, together with Robin Partington from Foster and Partners, to improve design standards at Hamilton.
The firm's founder and owner Tim Hamilton, now 65, made no secret at the time of his intention to hand the office on to Partington and Collado when he retired.
However, Collado told the AJ that he had become increasingly frustrated by the succession policy. 'When I joined I was under the impression we would take over in three or four years, ' he said.
'Then it was announced that Tim would leave within 10 years and that seemed a long time to wait - it was not the transitional plan I thought I had signed up to. However, I do not feel bitter about it.
'I think it is an exciting time to be setting up a new firm and there is a lot we can achieve - we have already picked up a lot of very exciting work, ' Collado added.