Commercial litigator Mervis is well known for his work advising private equity houses and asset managers in disputes. He is one of KWM’s most senior City partners, having run for the senior partner post at predecessor firm SJ Berwin but losing to Stephen Kon in 2012.
His exit comes at a troubled time for KWM’s London office, with European and Middle East managing partner William Boss resigning just nine months into the role after a fractious partnership review that saw about 15 underperforming partners managed out of the firm and profit payments delayed. The search for Boss’s successor was postponed last month when the firm restructured its practices down from 17 to three.
Since SJ Berwin merged with KWM to give the firm a European presence there has been a exodus of talent, with disputes colleagues Nick Brocklesby and London litigation head Alex Leitch departing for US rivals in the past two years. Corporate heavyweights Steven Davis, Richard Lever and Tim Wright have also left during the past 24 months, to Proskauer Rose, Goodwin Procter and DLA Piper respectively.
After a quiet period for the London office of Arnold & Porter, Mervis becomes the firm’s second City hire in as many months following the arrival of intellectual property partner Michael Bywell from Minter Ellison Rudd Watts.
Mervis becomes the firm’s third disputes partner in London, which is currently home to 44 lawyers and 16 partners.