Legal Business Blogs

Holman Fenwick continues recruitment drive with HSF litigator Foster

Holman Fenwick Willan has recruited another key lateral to its City practice, this time with Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF) solicitor advocate and partner Christopher Foster.

Foster is a commercial litigator specialised in contentious insurance and reinsurance matters. He advises on policy drafting (both direct and reinsurance), commutations, portfolio transfers and the insurance aspects of corporate transactions.

Major instructions under his belt include advising on losses arising out of California wildfires; the invasion of Kuwait; WorldCom; Exxon Valdez oil spill; Madoff and hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Juliette, Ivan and Wilma.

He also advised Graff on its Bond Street robbery, the largest ever UK insurance claim following a gem heist, and HSF’s longstanding client British American Tobacco on its exposure in the US for the pollution of the Lower Fox River in Wisconsin and the Kalamazoo River in Michigan.

Other disputes stars to exit HSF in the last twelve months include experienced arbitration partner Matthew Weiniger QC, who departed for Linklaters last summer.

Holman Fenwick has been on a recruitment drive for the last year, having hired Reed Smith corporate partners Giles Beale and James Wilson in December, Stephen Marais from rival Ince & Co and energy partners Alexander Reid and Jonathan Martin, who joined from Baker Botts and Fasken Martineau respectively. The firm also had a strong promotions round, electing nine new partners to ‘drive international expansion.’

The move to build out its offering follows a difficult financial year, with a 15% slide in profits per equity partner (PEP) for the 2014/15 year which saw a 3% drop in revenue from £144m to £139m. The falling numbers marked the end of a steady increase in recent years with turnover up by 2% in 2013/14 and PEP up 5%, while in 2012/13 the firm saw revenue grow to £141m, up from £124m the previous year.