The exodus from Foster and Partners continued this week when it emerged that one of the practice’s longest serving partners will leave

Charles Rich, who helps co-ordinate the management group that provides strategic support for global projects, will leave at Christmas to set up the Charles Rich Consultancy. This will advise clients and construction firms on all aspects of contracts, from inception to maintenance.

Rich’s departure follows former colleagues Robin Partington, John Silver and Andrew Miller, who have all joined rival Hamilton Associates since 2000. Lord Foster’s former right-hand man, Ken Shuttleworth, left in 2004 to set up rival architect Make, and has attracted several former colleagues to join him.

Alistair Gaskin, a former project director with Urban Catalyst, will join Rich’s consultancy as development adviser. Other founding members include Anne Griffiths, former project co-ordinator for the London Office at City Hall, and John Greene, formerly of construction manager Schal.

Rich, who has been with Foster and Partners for 18 years, was also involved in the negotiating fees and appointments. Prior to joining Foster, he spent 15 years working in construction management with Wimpey’s major projects division.

Rich said that his decision has the full support of Foster and Partners, and that the consultancy is already talking to other practices over potential alliances.

He said: “We’re developing strategic alliances with specialists and generalists. We expect to be able to announce these in the near future.”

A Foster and Partners spokesperson said: “Charles Rich has been a valued part of the management support team. We wish him every success with his new venture.”