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Brown Rudnick hires King & Wood European employment head amid high profile departures

US firm Brown Rudnick has hired King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) former head of employment Nicola Kerr as the Hong Kong legal firm clears its decks after a partnership review in Europe and the Middle East.

Head of KWM’s European employment team for more than 15 years, Kerr advises hedge funds, private equity houses and broker-dealers on employment law issues. She is the ninth partner exit this year following a string of high profile departures and a partnership review which is expected to see 10% of the firm’s European and Middle Eastern partnership managed out by March next year.

Kerr leaves KWM after 23 years at the firm, having joined as an associate in 1992 and making partner four years later. Other veteran lawyers to leave KWM in recent months include intellectual property partner Ray Black, who left after 24 years to join Mishcon de Reya in July, and tax partner Giles Bavister, who departed after 15 years at the firm to join K&L Gates.

The appointment is Brown Rudnick’s seventh lateral hire in London in the past two years. The firm’s chairman Joe Ryan said: ‘Nicola has an exceptional track record and will add a valuable dimension to our corporate and funds practices in both contentious and non-contentious employment law.’

Kerr added: ‘Brown Rudnick’s record for handling tough cases, advising on complex, cross-border deals, and its ‘global boutique’ approach to business were real selling points. I look forward to building on the strong growth the firm has seen over the last couple of years.’

Read more about KWM in this month’s feature: Sum of its parts: can King & Wood Mallesons match the hype?