Ever-expansive Clyde & Co has deepened its domestic footprint with the launch of an office in Bristol, south west England, and the arrival of three new partners to staff it.
The new office, which opened its doors today (1 May), is Clydes’ tenth in the UK and will be focused on professional and financial disputes in addition to infrastructure work.
Among the incoming partners is Ian Peacock, a professional indemnity litigator who joins from Womble Bond Dickinson, the recent transatlantic tie-up of UK shop Bond Dickinson and US firm Womble Carlyle Sandridge & Rice.
Peacock, who is credited with setting up Bond Dickinson’s Bristol-based insurance practice in June 2000, typically represents solicitors, accountants, brokers and financial advisers.
Also joining is John Eastlake from Kennedys’ London office. Eastlake served as the firm’s head of professional indemnity in London, and largely mirrors Peacock’s client-base.
Completing the trio is Peter O’Brien, who was previously a partner at Bristol-headquartered Clarke Wilmott. O’Brien has over 14 years’ experience in construction industry disputes, representing both contractors and sub-contractors in the energy and infrastructure spheres.
The Bristol office will also soon boast five associates, with three focused on professional and financial disputes and two on projects and construction.
The new outpost will be seen as a significant strengthening of the firm’s already robust professional and financial disputes group. The group, now consisting of more than 150 lawyers in the UK, sees Clydes recognised as a leader in the professional liability space.
Robert Hill, employment partner and Clydes’ chair of the UK board, told Legal Business: ‘Bristol is a strong centre for liability disputes, a large number of insurers and brokers have set up there in the last few years. It was the obvious missing office for us.
‘Our view of the regional offices has always been insurance-based but we have also grown out other practices. In Manchester for example we added employment, marine cargo and property. It’s not out of the realms of possibility that Bristol could develop in a similar way.’
Simon Konsta, Clydes’ senior partner, added: ‘Bristol is a key centre for professional and financial disputes and infrastructure work, so having John, Ian and Peter on board gives us a great foundation, as well as a platform for further growth.’
The Bristol opening marks Clydes’ second new office of 2018, after announcing in February that it was setting up a four-partner Hamburg office.