Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: spate of hires from regional UK and niche City firms dominate lateral recruitment  

By far the largest group of hires of the latest batch this week has been made by listed LB100 firm Keystone Law, showing the attractiveness of the alternative law firm model to recruits from conventional practices in the current climate.

Keystone has added another 14 new partners – 11 of which were lateral hires – including Stuart Carter, an energy partner from Fieldfisher; IP specialist Fiona Nicholson from Bristows; Edwin Coe employment partner Alexandra Carn; Fletcher Day property litigators Chris Hill and Greg Barnbrook; real estate partners James Daglish and John Downing from Goodman Derrick; litigation specialists Elaine Chan and Robert Kenyon from Ward Hadaway and PDT Solicitors respectively; and corporate partners Anna McGill, who joins from Gordon Brown Law, and Oliver Mellman, who was managing director of Provenance Legal. 

These hires continue a bumper year of lateral recruitment for the impressively expansive Keystone, adding to the August move of hiring 15 new partners, 10 of which were laterals.

James Knight, CEO and founder (pictured), said: ‘Keystone continues to stand out to senior lawyers who are excelling and wish to be remunerated in line with their performance. Together with our flat structure and the complete autonomy we can provide, our offering to lawyers cannot be matched. As our firm grows through excellent hires, such as our latest new joiners, so does our reputation as a first-rate alternative to the traditional law firm model.’

Elsewhere, US/UK energy boutique Bracewell announced that Alistair Calvert has joined the firm’s energy disputes team as a partner in the London office. Calvert was previously a partner at Pinsent Masons and focuses on disputes related to oil and gas exploration. He provides advice on the management of legal risk during pre-action negotiations, managing litigation and international arbitration, mediation and other forms of alternative dispute resolution, including expert determination and early neutral evaluation.

‘Alistair’s arrival further enhances Bracewell’s position as one of the leading energy firms in the UK market,’ said Jason Fox, managing partner of Bracewell’s London office. ‘His deep experience handling disputes, including in Ghana and Nigeria, complements the capabilities of our existing team, putting us in a stronger position to serve clients on both transactional and litigation matters.’

Meanwhile, TLT announced the hire of a 12-strong financial services disputes and investigations team to its London office. The team – including partners Clare Stothard and Steven Mills, as well as seven additional fee-earners and professional support staff – join from Dentons. Stothard and Mills were longstanding senior litigation partners at Watford-based stalwart Matthew Arnold & Baldwin before the firm split and shared between Dentons, Veale Wasbrough Vizards and Hill Dickinson in 2016. A specialist mortgage enforcement and lending services team will also join TLT from Dentons early next year.

Mills & Reeve is expanding its national healthcare team with the appointment of Neil Ward. Formerly a partner at Browne Jacobson for 10 years, Ward specialises in all areas of healthcare law. His particular areas of expertise relate to inquests and high-profile serious medical treatment cases heard in the Court of Protection. He will be based in the Birmingham office where he will help to grow the healthcare law work from both public and independent sector health and care sector clients.

Finally, Lawrence Stephens has appointed construction law specialist Paul Wilson to lead its expanding team. Wilson is an expert at handling multi-million pound claims and capital projects and has worked on both contentious and non-contentious cases. He joins Lawrence Stephens following his recent work as a legal consultant for law firms and construction sector clients. He was previously a partner at Lee Crowder, Browne Jacobson and Morgan Cole.