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Healthy competition: Capsticks takes five partners from DAC Beachcroft

It may be one of its signature practice areas but progressive insurance giant DAC Beachcroft last week (30 August) confirmed five Leeds-based partners will be leaving its market-leading health team for rival specialist Capsticks.

Although departure dates are yet to be finalised, Ian Cooper, Rachael Heenan, Robert McGough, Ron Simms and Claire Reynolds will all make the move to Capsticks next year.

DAC Beachcroft, which has advised the NHS since its inception 65 years ago, has the largest health practice of any UK law firm with 487-strong firmwide team comprising 50 partners and 200 fee earners operating across the independent and public sector, according to the firm.

Managing partner Paul Murray said regional senior partner in Newcastle and member of the national healthcare management team David Weatherburn and Leeds partner and head of the national health estates team Eve Gregory will take over the leadership and operational management of the northern health team as long-term structures are put in place.

‘We are intensely proud of our national health team, advising those at the forefront of health and social care in this country. Of course, that reputation makes our people the envy of the competition and, inevitably, some of them will depart for pastures new’, said Murray.

‘However, when people leave it provides opportunities for others to develop. We have some amazing talent in our health practice and our people will ensure we remain ‘business as usual’ for our clients over the coming months,’ Murray added.

This isn’t the first time that DAC Beachcroft has lost lawyers to insurance rivals in recent months – in April four insurance partners in Madrid left to join Clyde & Co’s new Spanish launch. However, in the same month DAC Beachcroft itself took a five-strong professional indemnity team from Morgan Cole in Wales. Meanwhile, in July Adrian Williams joined the firm’s corporate insurance team from reinsurance giant Swiss Re, where he was general counsel for Europe, Middle East and Africa.

Both Capsticks and DAC Beachcroft won places on the Department of Health and the NHS Litigation Authority’s (NHSLA) new 14-strong cross-department legal roster when it was announced in June this year, with Capsticks appointed to two of the three sub-panels while DAC Beachcroft was chosen for all three.