Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Pinsents and Irwin Mitchell both hire from CRS as Gateley brings in two new partners

With the summer break fast approaching, there was a flurry in the lateral market among law firms last week as they looked to sign off key appointments. Pinsent Masons and Irwin Mitchell both turned to Charles Russell Speechlys (CRS) partners for strategic appointments while Gateley made two laterals.

Pinsents hired CRS’ financial services practice head Elizabeth Budd to bolster its financial regulatory group as the firm targeted banking, insurance and asset management work in the City.

Budd specialises in advising asset and fund managers on the evolving regulatory landscape in both the UK and the EU. On the funds side she has established funds structured as unit trusts, open ended investment companies and limited partnerships both onshore and offshore. She has also advised asset managers regarding the Financial Conduct Authority’s increased supervision and enforcement action as well as regulatory changes.

The hire follows the firm’s recruitment of David Heffron from Addleshaw Goddard to lead its financial regulation group earlier this year. John Salmon, head of financial services at Pinsents, said: ‘We continue to see a high level of demand for regulatory advice from our clients in the banking, insurance and asset management sectors and are investing in our City-based team accordingly. The appointment of David and Elizabeth in quick succession is a real signal of intent – our clients value our innovative approach allied to significant sector knowledge. Pinsent Masons’ vision is to become an international market-leader in the sectors in which we operate, and this appointment moves us forward a significant step in the financial services arena.’

Irwin Mitchell also found CRS a productive hunting ground – hiring partner Penny Cogher. Joining the pensions team, which has grown to four partners with the addition of Martin Jenkins in the City to head the team in December 2014 and Andrew Ashley Taylor in Manchester in May this year, Cogher comes with 23-years’ experience in the field.

Having primarily advised charities and not-for-profit bodies, she advises on regulation, compliance, risk management, funding disputes, public sector outsourcing, and use of contingent asset arrangements. On defined contribution schemes, she advises on governance, the newly introduced 2015/2016 flexibilities, life assurance and on tax for high net worth individuals.

Niall Baker, partner and chief executive at Irwin Mitchell, said: ‘Penny is the tenth partner to join our Business Legal Services side of the firm since the start of 2015, showing our commitment to building our business expertise and attracting high-calibre lawyers. Our pensions department is going from strength to strength. Pensions are a key concern for our clients in an ever changing legislative environment. We are delighted to have someone of Penny’s experience and reputation joining the firm. We remain committed to investing in the growth of our business team further.’

Meanwhile, Gateley has made two appointments. The national firm hired two partners to boost its litigation and employment. Benedict Gorner joins the firm from DLA Piper, where he made partner having joined the global firm from Eversheds in 2002. Gorner covers a broad range of employment law covering all aspects of contentious and non-contentious work with a particular specialism in TUPE and change management programmes. Three-office Watson Burton also lost the head of its commercial litigation practice, Andrew Johnson, to the publicly-listed law firm. Johnson has previously acted for a range of companies including Bellway, Microsoft, Colas and the University of Leicester. Gateley also appointed a new director of Client and Market Development, Fiona Holland, from PwC.

Meanwhile, also on the national scene was Bevan Brittan’s move on Andrew Shaw at TLT. The property partner joined the firm with a specialism in social housing, though the exit from TLT’s social housing team was partially offset by the firm’s hire of Lewis Silkin’s real estate specialist Linda Convery and social housing partner Gillian Bastow.

Jonathan Turner, head of housing at Bevan Brittan, commented: ‘The housing sector is facing a number of challenges with changes to Right to Buy and Welfare Reform looming. The impact of these policy changes on Registered Provider development programmes could be significant at a time when there is growing pressure on housing stock numbers. Organisations need to ensure that they are structuring their portfolios effectively and, where appropriate, maximising development delivery through exploring new cross-sector partnership models between Registered Providers, Local Authorities and Health Trusts. Andrew will be an important addition to our team.’