Kingsley Napley has made a key hire to its criminal litigation team, as DLA Piper partner Jo Rickards, who recently represented former News of the World (NotW) editor Andy Coulson in the phone-hacking trial, is set to join the firm this August.
Acknowledged as a leading individual for corporate crime work by The Legal 500, Rickards’ appointment brings the number of partners in Kingsley Napley’s criminal litigation practice to 13.
Rickards recently represented Coulson in criminal proceedings where in late June he was found guilty and sentenced to 18 months for conspiring to intercept voicemails at the now-defunct Sunday tabloid following an eight-month trial at the Old Bailey. The trial also saw Rickards cross paths with her new colleagues at Kingsley Napley, with partner Angus McBride representing Rebekah Brooks.
Hers is the second high-profile departure from DLA’s City disputes practice, which in March also saw IT litigation head Lee Gluyas defect to Nabarro. The world’s largest firm made a significant splash when it hired Rickards in 2010 from Peters & Peters in 2010 – and other clients ahave included Silvio Berlusconi and the Maxwells
Kingsley Napley’s criminal litigation head Stephen Parkinson said the firm ‘…is the natural home for someone of Jo’s talent. Having worked alongside her in high profile trials, we recognise her tenacity, meticulous preparation and sound judgement. Her reputation is wholly justified.’
On her appointment, Rickards added: ‘Criminal and regulatory scrutiny of major corporates and senior employees has never been more challenging for clients or for us. In an increasingly competitive environment, I am delighted to join Kingsley Napley and play my part in upholding its reputation as the go-to firm for high-profile criminal and financial regulatory defence work.’