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Latham’s London hiring spree continues with SFO Queen’s Counsel

Latham & Watkins‘ hiring spree in the City has ramped up a gear this week, with the arrival of Stuart Alford QC from the UK Serious Fraud Office, the firm’s second partner hire in two days.

Alford QC, one of the UK’s most senior investigators, joins Latham as the firm makes a renewed push in litigation. His arrival comes just 24 hours after the firm landed Ashurst restructuring partner Simon Baskerville.

The prosecutor leaves his post as joint head of fraud at the SFO, where he oversaw a team of 70 case investigators and lawyers investigating the manipulation of Libor, to join Latham. He also worked on the fraudfighter’s high-profile Barclays-Qatar investigation over the British bank’s rescue fundraising during the financial crisis and was a member of the SFO’s management board.

During his four-year stint at the SFO, after joining from barristers’ chambers 36 Bedford Row, Alford QC became one of just a handful of Queen’s Counsel at the fraud watchdog. He took silk in 2014.

Latham global litigation chair Jamie Wine said: ‘In recent times, the largest regulatory and enforcement matters facing our financial institution clients have been complex, cross-border investigations in the US and the UK. Adding a practitioner of Stuart’s caliber in London represents a major milestone for the firm as we continue build out our preeminent litigation and regulatory capability in the world’s leading disputes forums.’

Latham has turned its firepower to practices that tend to prosper during economic downturns in recent months, with Baskerville’s hire preceded in London by the arrival of Ashurst colleague Rob Moulton, the City firm’s co-head of financial regulation, and rising international arbitration star Sophie Lamb from Debevoise & Plimpton. The firm also hired Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer executive partner Michael Lacovara, a high-profile litigator in New York.