Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: LB100 players make significant team moves as Links finance duo launches boutique

The past week has seen a focus on team hires and moves, with Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner and DAC Beachcroft both taking on groups of lawyers from competitor firms. 

Named as the highly commended firm in our Law Firm of the Year category at the Legal Business Awards this week, DAC Beachcroft has hired a five-partner insurance team in Belfast from LB100 top-50 firm BLM. 

Peter Campbell, Fintan Canavan, Alison Cassidy, Paul MacAllister and Aine Tyrell have all joined the firm from BLM as partners. The team brings considerable experience in advising insurance clients on complex policy indemnity issues, first and third-party fraud concerns, clinical negligence, catastrophic and large loss injury claims, motor claims, professional indemnity claims, abuse claims, and construction and property claims. 

‘Our focus continues to be on strategic growth for the benefit of our insurer and commercial clients,’ said Craig Dickson, CEO of DAC Beachcroft’s Claims Solutions. ‘Adding this team, with its capabilities and reputation as the premium insurance team in the market, will help us continue to deliver on our commitment to providing quality advice and bespoke solutions to our clients.’ 

DAC Beachcroft launched in Northern Ireland in July 2019 after joining forces with McKinty and Wright. The move, which the firm says came in direct response to client demand for DACB to have a presence in all UK jurisdictions, gave the firm litigation, professional negligence and risk management capabilities in Belfast.  

The Belfast hires were not the only standout lateral hires for DACB in the past week. The firm also added litigator Clarissa Coleman from K&L Gates in London. Coleman has significant in-house and private practice experience of complex commercial disputes, including advising corporates and individuals on multi-jurisdictional disputes and arbitration, enforcement strategies, reputation and crisis management, internal and external investigations, ethics, and governance.  

John Bramhall, DACB’s head of commercial litigation, said: ‘Clarissa is well known in the London market and has an impressive track record, having managed high-profile cases concerning multi-million pound disputes, large fraud investigations, and international asset tracing. She is an extremely versatile litigator and will be a fantastic addition to DACB and a real asset to our clients.’ 

Meanwhile, in Paris, BCLP has hired partner Pierre Popesco and six other lawyers (including three counsel) from CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats, building on the firm’s Paris office expansion which began in January . Their arrival helps the firm stake its claim as a major player in the real estate market in France. 

Before joining BCLP, Popesco was a partner of Lefèvre Pelletier & associés; Herbert Smith Freehills in Paris, where he created and managed the real estate division for 12 years; and CMS Francis Lefebvre Avocats. Before joining these firms, he founded and managed a research centre specialising in town planning law and then headed the legal department of Espace Promotion, a Unibail subsidiary, specializing in the development of shopping centres.  

BCLP global real estate head Chris de Pury said: ‘The growth of the real estate practice in Paris is part of our international strategy, to provide European and international real estate players with a comprehensive and high-level service. Our new strike force on the French market is our best example.’ 

Finally, two experienced finance partners have spun out from Linklaters to launch Bott Van Kesteren, a boutique law firm in London and Moscow specialising in advice on international financing transactions. Michael Bott was a senior partner at Linklaters, where he led its Russian banking & finance practice and is acknowledged as a market-leading practitioner in the emerging markets, particularly Russia and the CIS. He has acted for international bank syndicates and corporations on some of the largest and most complex financings in Russia. Mirthe van Kesteren led Linklaters’ London-based emerging markets banking and structured commodity trade finance practices and co-led its CIS and Ukraine desks. 

‘Legal fees are under increasing scrutiny; at BVK, Mirthe and I can be responsive to our clients’ budgets, while doing what we enjoy most – working shoulder-to-shoulder with our clients on complex deals and giving them the benefit of our expertise and experience,’ said Bott.