The continued dominance of US firms in the City lateral market shows no sign of slowing, with Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton yesterday (20 November) bringing in experienced disputes partner James Norris-Jones from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) to its office in the capital.
Norris-Jones, who was made a partner at HSF in 2012, has a broad practice that encompasses High Court litigation as well as arbitration. His arrival will boost Cleary’s already well-established London disputes team, comprising partners Sunil Gadhia, Jonathan Kelly, Christopher Moore, David Sabel and Romano Subiotto QC.
Norris-Jones commented: ‘I have had a fantastic 16 years at HSF, had the ability to work on some landmark cases and make good friends and colleagues. It is now time for a change and a new challenge.’
In a statement, Cleary managing partner Michael Gerstenzang said that Norris-Jones will add ‘formidable depth and breadth of talent’ to the firm, while disputes partner Kelly added that Norris-Jones has ‘developed an impressive practice and earned the respect of clients.’
During his career at HSF, Norris-Jones notably represented RBS in the shareholder group action that settled in June.
The arrival of Norris-Jones will be a welcome boost for Cleary’s City , after it suffered the loss of capital markets partner Simon Ovenden to Simmons & Simmons earlier this year.
For HSF, Norris-Jones’ departure represents the second partner prised away by a US firm since the summer. Global energy co-head Anna Howell left for Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in June, to bolster the US firm’s fast-growing practice.