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Disputes drive: Baker & McKenzie hires Hogan Lovells litigator Lyons

Baker & McKenzie‘s push in the UK disputes arena has continued into the new year with the hire of Hogan Lovells stalwart Hugh Lyons.

Lyons, who leaves Hogan Lovells after more than 20 years at the firm, becomes the latest litigator to join Baker & McKenzie’s London office following the hire of Andy Moody from Eversheds, Barclays managing director of litigation and investigations Jonathan Peddie and BBC head of litigation Nadia Banno in the past 18 months. Lyons, who specialises in commercial litigation arising out of insolvency, fraud and financial misconduct, had been a partner for over 10 years.

While Baker & McKenzie’s litigation practice in the City received a blow at the end last year with the exit of global litigation head Tom Cassels to Linklaters, growth in disputes remains a key focus of London managing partner Paul Rawlinson’s strategy.

The firm has also hired transfer pricing specialist Jukka Karjalainen from Deloitte to lead its push in the tax space. Joining as tax leader of the firm’s UK business transformation practice, Karjalainen will advise clients on the design, implementation and defence of complex cross-border restructurings.

His arrival comes eight months after the arrival of Kate Alexander from fellow Big Four firm EY. Baker & McKenzie’s tax practice, made up of lawyers, economists and accountants, has grown to over 50 people during Rawlinson’s time at the helm.

Rawlinson said: ‘Our London growth strategy is firmly focused on building on our existing capabilities across a number of key practice areas including disputes and corporate tax. Hugh adds significant bench-strength to our litigation practice with his unique banking litigation experience while Jukka’s transfer pricing expertise will considerably enhance our offering to large UK and multinational clients.’