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White & Case doubles up in the City in continued disputes drive

White & Case is continuing its aggressive City expansion with two disputes hires, the firm’s eighth and ninth laterals this year.

Contentious construction and engineering partner David Robertson is joining White & Case’s arbitration team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP), while Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partner Steven Baker joins the firm’s commercial litigation practice.

Robertson joined legacy Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2013, and has experience acting on major construction, energy and infrastructure projects, while Baker acts on technology disputes, a sector White & Case has highlighted for growth.

Dipen Sabharwal, regional section head of EMEA disputes, told Legal Business: ‘Disputes in London is a core part of our 2020 strategy, and these two hires ticked all the boxes.’

The firm’s much-touted 2020 strategy is about going ‘toe to toe with the Magic Circle’. London-based executive committee member Oliver Brettle, the firm’s former City office head, commented: ‘As we continue to take the fight to the Magic Circle, the arrival of leading partners such as Steven and David propels us forward.’

The headline hires follow that of Chris Brennan’s arrival at the firm in June, with the experienced litigator arriving from Addleshaw Goddard. The latest arrivals take White & Case’s City lateral recruitment count up to nine this year.

Sabharwal added that more disputes hires would be needed if the firm is to make good on its commitment to surpass the City elite: ‘We’re at the halfway mark of our 2020 strategy and we’re not there yet, but it’s a continuing ambition of ours.’

Meanwhile, last month White & Case announced the opening of a new office in Chicago, as the firm continued its dynamic growth drive globally.