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Revolving Doors: SJ Berwin corporate heavyweight Harris to Hogan Lovells as Bingham and Bond Dicks make key hires

Just weeks away from its merger with King Wood & Mallesons, SJ Berwin corporate heavyweight Ed Harris is leaving for Hogan Lovells as Bingham McCutcheon also raids Jones Day to build its London competition team and Osborne Clarke’s remaining two-partner private client team joins Bond Dickinson.

Harris, who will move across to Hogan Lovells on an unknown date as a result of ongoing negotiations with management, has been at SJ Berwin since 2007 and has advised a number of high profile clients including Terra Firma, Pantheon Ventures Investindustrial, EQT, Actavis and Constellation Software Inc.

Harris advised Duke Street on its €45m stake during the refinancing of European payment network Payzone in 2010, acting again for the private equity investor last year on the acquisition of a stake in insurance law firm Parabis Group.

Elsewhere, Jones Day London competition chief Frances Murphy, whose clients include AstraZeneca, The London Metal Exchange, Ryder Systems, Sanofi-Aventis, SES and WL Ross, joins US firm Bingham McCutcheon’s antitrust, competition and trade regulation practice group in London, bringing the office’s competition headcount to three.

‘Frances is a terrific addition to our strong team of antitrust lawyers worldwide,’ said senior litigator Richard Taffet. ‘Her arrival underscores Bingham’s commitment to growing our competition law practice in Europe. Frances is known for her entrepreneurial focus, client service, and ability to help build a top-tier global antitrust presence. Her arrival further enables us to leverage our US and Japanese antitrust and competition law practice to quicken the pace of cross-border coordinated antitrust representations for clients.’

Murphy’s arrival at Bingham is pointed to by the firm as a sign of the increasing diversification of its London office – following as it does the hire of Herbert Smith Freehills investment funds partner Thiha Tun – as well as the investment in its wider antitrust practice, which globally has grown by eight partners in five years.

Meanwhile, top 35 national firm Bond Dickinson has grown its private wealth sector with the hire of Osborne Clarke’s former two-partner private client team as the latter firm restructures its private client offering.

Partners Mark Woodward and Robert Drewett – who advise on estates, trusts and inheritance tax work – will move across to 700-lawyer Bond Dickinson with their associated teams as Osborne Clarke looks to recruit a small new private wealth group, which is closer aligned with the firm’s corporate focus, in particular entrepreneurs and high net-worth international clients.

This comes just a few months after Osborne Clarke private client partner Sandra Brown left the firm with part of the business to join Michelmores in May this year.

Head of private wealth at Bond Dickinson, David Dale said: ‘This is a fantastic opportunity to significantly expand our wealth management expertise with the acquisition of a superb team with an excellent track record and reputation in the market place.’