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Ashurst loses further City corporate partner as Jonathan Earle joins Gibson Dunn

Jonathan Earle has become the latest Ashurst corporate partner to quit the top 20 firm, leaving after 16 years to join US firm Gibson Dunn & Crutcher’s City corporate practice.

Earle joined Ashurst in 1998 and became a corporate partner in 2008. He has experience of advising corporates, banks and financial institutions and specialises in cross-border mergers and acquisitions, with a particular focus on public M&A. Recent big mandates for Ashurst include representing Interserve on its acquisition of Rentokil’s facilities management business for £250m, and advising William Hill on its public bid for Sportingbet.

Earle will continue his corporate practice, focusing on cross-border mergers and acquisitions in his new role. His start date at the US firm is yet to be confirmed but Earle told Legal Business that after 16 years at Ashurst it was time for a new challenge.

‘I’m delighted to be joining Gibson Dunn and am looking forward to working with my new colleagues,’ said Earle. ‘The firm has a pre-eminent corporate practice, and its international platform will help me to grow my cross-border M&A practice in the future.’

Gibson’s co-chair of the global finance practice Tom Budd said: ‘Jonathan is a terrific addition to the firm. His cross-border M&A focus will complement our London and US corporate practices, and his energy, enthusiasm and entrepreneurial spirit will be an easy cultural fit with the firm.’

A spokesperson at Ashurst added: ‘Jon has made a significant contribution to the corporate practice in the last 16 years. He is a talented and dedicated partner and great fun to work with. We will be sorry to see him go but we wish him the very best for the future.’

Earle is the latest in a series of departures from the Ashurst’s corporate practice, following on from the resignation of high profile private equity specialist Karan Dinamani who left the firm in March this year, to join Allen & Overy in the footsteps of former global head of corporate, commercial and competition Stephen Lloyd, who resigned within weeks of the firm fully integrating with Australian partner Blake Dawson and post-merger management elections. Lloyd joined A&O as co-head of its private equity practice in November.