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Ashurst sees second City corporate departure to US firm in as many weeks

Ashurst’s beleaguered M&A practice has received a fresh blow as corporate partner Dominic Ross departs for the City office of White & Case.

Ross’ exit from Ashurst’s corporate practice marks the second in as many weeks to a US firm in London after it was announced that partner James Wood would join Sidley Austin in London two weeks ago (30 October).

Ross was one of 20 partners made up at Ashurst in April 2015 having worked there as an associate since March 2005.  His start date at White & Case is to be confirmed.

Meanwhile, Wood had been a partner at Ashurst for two years having previously been a partner at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer for 14 years. He joined Freshfields as an associate in 1996.

John Reiss, head of White & Case’s global M&A practice, described Ross’ hire as part of the firm’s ambition to ‘build a truly market leading public M&A practice in London, in line with our 2020 growth strategy. The importance of London as a financial and legal centre, and of English law for cross-border M&A deals, continues despite Brexit.’

Ross will focus on corporate finance and M&A, having advised both listed and private corporate clients on M&A, equity capital markets and complex deals involving UK public companies.

White & Case last year redoubled its efforts to become a corporate powerhouse in London having made two high-profile partners from City firms. Hogan Lovells’ heavyweight corporate partner Guy Potel was enlisted in May 2016 and Patrick Sarch, who had been a corporate partner at Clifford Chance, was considered a significant coup when he was hired in October 2016.

Allan Taylor, White & Case’s regional section head, EMEA M&A/corporate, described Ross as having ‘a strong reputation in the market and established relationships with UK corporates and leading investment banks in London. He strengthens our English law M&A team in London and will play a key role as we continue to build our UK plc practice and expand our public M&A and advisory capabilities.’

On the corporate practice, the Ashurst spokesperson said: ‘Our London corporate team goes from strength to strength, advising on a roster of fantastic deals for both longstanding and new clients. We have performed exceptionally well and we will continue to do so throughout the remainder of the financial year.’

For comment on Ashurst’s corporate practice, read ‘Deal view: Ashurst strives to reboot M&A brand but deal market is getting tougher’