Lascelles leaves KWM after 15 years at the firm, having qualified at legacy SJ Berwin in 2003 before making partner in 2011. He reunites with Alex Leitch, who left his post as KWM’s City litigation head in March 2015 to lead Covington’s push to improve its London disputes capability.
Lascelles has a broad litigation and arbitration practice, acting mainly for hedge funds, private equity houses, asset managers and investment banks in financial services disputes. He also has experience advising on regulatory investigations.
Leitch, co-chair of Covington’s European dispute resolution practice, said: ‘Financial services remains an active sector that attracts a lot of demand from our clients across a variety of disciplines, including antitrust litigation, commercial litigation and regulatory disputes.’
Lascelles’ exit comes at a bad time for the Asian legal giant as it seeks to steady its European business following a string of high-profile exits. Just last week the firm confirmed former Europe head of finance Jeremy Cross is set to join Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft.
The firm is currently mulling a cash call for its European and Middle East business, with partners informed at the firm’s monthly partners meeting in June that London-based funds veteran Michael Halford is leading a review of the firm’s capitalisation in the region. That came just three months after partners were told that the firm increased its loan facility with Barclays by £5m to £25m.
Read more in the feature: ‘Branded – Inside the troubled takeover of SJ Berwin’