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Revolving doors: Gibson Dunn & Crutcher continues City push as Bird & Bird hires in Europe

The push by leading US firms in London has continued in the past week, with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher the latest to strengthen its City cohort with a senior hire from a regulator, while Bird & Bird strengthened its international ranks with a lateral hire in Denmark.

Gibson Dunn bolstered its UK disputes and white-collar crime capabilities with the hire of Sacha Harber-Kelly. He joins from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), where he worked for 10 years, most recently as a prosecutor in the anti-corruption and bribery division.

Harber-Kelly acted on the deferred prosecution agreement (DPA) with Rolls-Royce, the largest investigation carried out by the regulator, and was involved in the development of the DPA regime.

He described Gibson Dunn as  having ‘one of the pre-eminent white collar crime practices in the world with a reputation for litigation excellence’, adding: ‘Building on my SFO experience, I hope to contribute to the identification and deployment of novel solutions to increasingly complex problems faced by clients in an ever more joined-up world of criminal enforcement.’

This is the second week in a row that Gibson Dunn has unveiled a key lateral hire in its London office. Last week, the Los Angeles-bred firm tapped Global 100 rival Mayer Brown for its former global co-head of corporate and securities and its London tax head.

Elsewhere, Bird & Bird strengthened its Copenhagen privacy and data protection team, hiring Michael Gorm Madsen from local firm Lundgrens.

Bird & Bird Denmark managing partner Jesper Langemark said: ‘A fundamental part of our strategy for the Danish office is to strengthen our data protection capabilities, especially as the date when the GDPR comes into force fast approaches.’

The UK top 20 firm has focused considerably in its global operations lately. This month it signed a co-operation agreement with Chinese firm AllBright Law Offices, while last month the firm announced plans to open an office in San Francisco.

Meanwhile, the in-house community also saw a high-profile move last week, as software outsourcing company ThoughtRiver hired Sky head counsel Martin Davidson as its chief legal officer.

Davidson joined Sky as a legal adviser in 2005 after a spell at Herbert Smith Freehills.