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Stewarts Law moves to rebuild fledgling employment practice with senior Dentons hire after early setback

Litigation boutique Stewarts Law has moved to rebuild its employment capability with the hire of longstanding Dentons employment partner Richard Nicolle, who joined the firm last week.

The legacy SNR Denton lawyer has over 20 years’ experience in both contentious and non-contentious employment law, acting for both employers and senior individuals.

Speaking to Legal Business, Nicholle, who was approached by Stewarts Law last October, said: ‘I had been at Dentons for 12 years – it’s an excellent firm. I felt that at my stage of career, I was ready for a change and Stewarts Law provides an exciting platform.

‘It’s a firm I had noticed from a distance was on an upward trajectory in terms of the work it does and the quality of its financial performance and management.’

Stewarts Law launched an employment practice in 2010 with the hire of Lewis Silkin partner Gareth Brahams, followed by the arrival of Simmons & Simmons associate Tim Spillane, who joined as a partner. In 2012, Russell Jones & Walker partner Arpita Dutt joined, however, Dutt and Brahams left last year to start their own practice, Brahams Dutt Badrick French, with Spillane appointed as practice head. 

The top 65 UK law firm has a reputation for taking on high profile employment battles, having previously represented 104 London investment bankers fighting for €52 million (£43.9 million) in unpaid bonuses from German banking giant Commerzbank.

Spillane, said: ‘We are committed to recruiting the very best lawyers to meet the needs of our clients. Richard’s appointment strengthens our current market position as a leading employment practice in the UK.’

The firm unveiled a significantly above average financial performance in the 2012/13 year, with a 30% increase in revenue to £45.2m alongside a 25% increase in profit per equity partner to £1.14m, making it one of the strongest performers in the LB100 and pushing it up the table by seven places to 65th place.

At the time the results were unveiled in July last year, managing partner John Cahill (pictured) said: ‘Next year we hope to beak the £50m revenue barrier, and achieve 40% net profit and to form further strategic alliances overseas outside of the US. We are currently in discussions with a number of firms.’