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Revolving Doors: Strategic UK hires for Irwin Mitchell; Simmons; Speechly and Winckworth Sherwood

A series of lateral hires across the UK last week saw Irwin Mitchell take on a trio of commercial litigation partners from Eversheds, DLA Piper and Matthew Arnold Baldwin (MAB), while Simmons & Simmons bolstered its information technology team with a hire from DLA, and Speechly Bircham and Winckworth Sherwood hired into their planning and real estate practices respectively.

Irwin Mitchell made a significant investment into its business legal services division with the appointment of Eversheds banking and financial services litigation partner Jonathan Crook, DLA disputes partner Dorrien Peters and MAB professional indemnity partner Jonathan Sachs.

Sachs formerly headed the professional indemnity team at MAB and earlier roles have included leading the litigation teams at Pettman Smith and legacy Sprecher Grier Halberstam, now SGH Martineau. He will join the firm’s London office.

Crook was in Eversheds’ Manchester office previously, where he specialised in banking and financial services litigation, and he will transfer across to Irwin Mitchell in the North West City.

Peters, who originally trained as an electronic engineer with BAE before joining DLA Piper’s Sheffield office, specialises in complex disputes in the IT, manufacturing, engineering and construction sectors and the use of computer forensic methods in support of civil fraud claims.

‘All three are experts in their field and demonstrate our intention to grow our market share by investing in highly talented people who have an innovative approach to law and proven track record when it comes to supporting the complex needs of clients,’ said Nigel Kissack, national head of commercial litigation at the firm.

Elsewhere, top 20 UK firm Simmons & Simmons has expanded its information, communication and technology (ICT) team with the hire of DLA partner Hinal Patel to its London office. Patel’s practice incorporates non-contentious technology with an emphasis on technology sourcing and general commercial contracting. While at DLA, Patel worked in both the firm’s London and Dubai offices.

‘Hinal Patel’s arrival marks a further milestone in the expansion of our ICT practice. His extensive experience of ICT and outsourcing work and cross border matters will be invaluable to our international practice,’ said Mark Curtis, head of ICT for the firm.

Meanwhile, City firm Speechly Bircham has bolstered its planning practice with the arrival of Tim Johnson from DAC Beachcroft. Johnson specialises in environmental and ecological matters relating to the development of land and ensuring compliance with European Union law. The Legal 500 commends him for his ‘commercial sense’ and ‘very sound advice’.

‘Tim adds strength in depth to our team, in particular with his wide experience of acting for developers on complex, mixed use schemes,’ said Claire Fallows, head of planning at the firm.

Winckworth Sherwood has also strengthened its real estate practice with the arrival of Christopher Brigstocke from Squire Sanders where he was a partner. His clients include developers, investors, funders and public sector bodies. He specialises in dealing with transport and infrastructure matters.

‘Christopher is an enormously respected real estate lawyer. His considerable experience and client following will be a terrific asset to the team,’ said Roger Fitton, managing partner of the firm.