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Mid-market feeding frenzy: Addleshaw, Bristows, Field Fisher and Irwin Mitchell unveil lateral hires

The New Year lateral hiring spree has gathered momentum, with Addleshaw Goddard, Irwin Mitchell, Bristows and Field Fisher Waterhouse all announcing new acquisitions today (7 January).

Leeds-based Bill Gilliam will join Addleshaw’s commercial litigation team as a partner after 20 years at Eversheds, where he was head of healthcare and life sciences. His experience includes a secondment as acting head of legal in the commercial directorate of the Department of Health, and cases include procurement disputes for Covent Garden Market Authority and Roche Diagnostics, as well as assisting with the Mid-Staffordshire Inquiry.

Elsewhere, the appointment of tax investigations partner Phil Berwick from Pinsent Masons into Irwin Mitchell’s business legal services (BLS) division takes the number of new hires by the national giant to 20 in two years, and follows on from the high- profile hire of Pinsents’ former dispute resolution and litigation head Nigel Kissack in October. He is joined by Nick Dawson, a legal director in the corporate team at DWF, who joins Irwin Mitchell as partner, and senior corporate associate, Rob Laugharne, who moves to Irwin Mitchell in Birmingham from Shoosmiths.

As a former head of the tax investigations team at McGrigors, now Pinsents, since 2009, Berwick will join Kissack in Irwin Mitchell’s London office. Having left the Inland Revenue 18 years ago where he was an inspector of taxes, Berwick has worked in the investigation teams of various accountancy and consultancy firms, including four years as head of tax investigations at Tenon.

He deals with a range of HMRC’s specialist units, but is principally involved in investigations instigated by HMRC’s specialist investigations and local compliance fraud teams with expertise in advising clients on international disclosure facilities.

Chief executive for BLS, Niall Baker, said: ‘Last year, Irwin Mitchell’s turnover exceeded £200m for the first time and our BLS division played a hugely important role in this success.

‘These latest appointments speak volumes for our determination to keep expanding and are a further sign that senior advisers, not just lawyers, are excited about what we are doing and want to be part of it.’

Meanwhile, shortly after its partners voted in favour of the tie-up with Birmingham heavyweight Wragge & Co last month, Lawrence Graham will see its head of EU, competition and regulation, Rosemary Choueka, leave to join Bristows to become a partner in its competition team.

Head of competition at Bristows Pat Treacy commented: ‘We are delighted to welcome Rosemary to our very busy team. Having gained experience at the European Commission and having subsequently advised businesses on all areas of competition law, she is also experienced in general EU law and on regulatory issues in sectors including technology, healthcare and waste.

‘Our team has grown significantly over the past few years to cater for increased workload, so her arrival is very timely as increased competition focus on high technology industries seems likely to lead to greater demand for sector specialists with a deep understanding of competition issues.’

This comes as Bristows announces the promotion of three associates Dominic Adair and Jeremy Blum (intellectual property); and Adrian Sim (IT) to partnership in May.

Finally, Field Fisher Waterhouse’s corporate team has been bolstered by the arrival of Mayer Brown corporate partner Mark Walker. Walker, who joined FFW yesterday (6 January) had been a partner at Mayer Brown since 1996 and spent six years in the firm’s Frankfurt office. FFW managing partner Michael Chissick said that Walker’s experience in private M&A, venture capital, family office and private equity investments in the UK and Germany, would fit particularly well with the firm’s strategic focus, as does his experience in technology transactions.