A 50-lawyer boutique in the US, Foran Glennon hired Cleary through his consultancy firm DCThree Services to execute a launch in the City and ended up poaching him to run the venture.
Foran Glennon, centred on litigation, insurance and bankruptcy, only launched in 2001 but now has offices in Chicago, New York, San Francisco and Orange County, California. Its opening in London represents its first overseas launch.
Cleary and Coull have each contributed 10% of the equity to launch the firm in the UK, with Foran Glennon contributing the remaining 80%. Legal Business understands the partners are hoping to secure an alternative business structure (ABS) licence in the UK, due to the firm’s US structure. It is still also awaiting clearance from the Solicitors Regulatory Authority (SRA).
Nonetheless, the pair have already taken office space in the City. Fittingly, for an insurance boutique, the firm has taken an office in 11 Leadenhall Street.
Having joined as a partner in May 2012, Cleary recently stepped down as a partner at Locke Lord and became a consultant at the firm. He made his name as a partner at collapsed US firm Dewey & Leboeuf, leaving in 2010 to become a partner at Steptoe & Johnson. Coull worked closely with Cleary during his four-year stint at Steptoe & Johnson, before the pair left in May 2012 to launch Locke Lord in the UK. He was previously a partner at Reynolds Porter Chamberlain (RPC).
Locke Lord management have parachuted in Texan litigator Michael Collins to oversee its struggling London office.