Legal Business

White & Case duo among four solicitors made up in reduced 2018 silk round

White & Case duo among four solicitors made up in reduced 2018 silk round

White & Case arbitration partners Dipen Sabharwal (pictured) and Aloke Ray make up half of the solicitor-advocates taking silk in this year’s Queen’s Counsel (QC) appointments, with 108 making the cut overall.

Completing the all-male group of solicitor-advocates taking silk were Allen & Overy partner Mark Levy and Stephen Fietta, founder of disputes boutique Fietta.

Sabharwal is head of White & Case’s EMEA international arbitration practice, and was promoted to partner in 2012. Ray joined the firm in 1999, and was promoted in 2006.

Sabharwal described taking silk as ‘the ultimate badge of recognition’. Ray, meanwhile, told Legal Business: ‘The pleasure and privilege comes from the fact it is associated with the high quality standard of work we do as a firm. Not all clients will react the same, but I can’t see how the extra recognition would hurt.’

The four solicitors appointed in this round marks the third consecutive year of decline, however: five solicitors took silk in 2017, and six the year before.

Solicitors were far more successful on average this year, however, with four out of five succeeding in their applications. Last year, only half of the ten solicitor applicants were successful.

There were also significantly less overall appointments, falling 9% to 108 from 119. There was an even greater fall in applicants, however, to 240 from 272.

Five barristers’ chambers shared the honour of having the highest number of tenants take silk: Brick Court Chambers, 39 Essex Chambers, 2 Hare Court, Red Lion Chambers and Littleton Chambers each had four barristers appointed.

It continues a strong run for Red Lion Chambers, which topped the list outright last year with six barristers taking silk. For elite London set Brick Court Chambers, it is a return to form after only one tenant was made up last year.

Male appointees far outweighed successful female applicants: 78 to 30. Women were more successful on average though, with 55% of female applicants making the cut compared to 42% for men.

Ethnic minority representation remained sluggish, with 13 out of 30 non-white applicants taking silk compared to 18 out of 33 last year.

Sir Alex Allan, chair of the Queen’s Counsel Selection Panel, commented: ‘We remain concerned that the number of female applicants remains comparatively low, but I am pleased that of those women who did apply, well over 50% were successful. I was also pleased to note that the number of BAME applicants appointed was in proportion to their representation amongst applicants, and amongst the relevant cohort of the profession.’

Sabharwal added: ‘The Queen’s Counsel Appointments and the Bar Council have been making strenuous efforts in improving diversity in recent years. Why the needle isn’t moving in the right direction is a complex story, but perhaps it’s a case of laying the groundwork now for a better result in a few years’ time.’

The silk swearing-in ceremony will be held on 11 March 2019.

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

For a longer read on the pageantry and magic of the ceremony, read ‘The Silk Round: One fine day’.

 

The full list of appointments (in alphabetical order):  

Zubair Ahmad, 2 Hare Court

Narita Bahra, 2 Hare Court

James Bailey, Wilberforce Chambers

Charles Banner, Landmark Chambers

William Bennett, 5RB

Balraj Bhatia, No. 1 High Pavement Chambers

Anna Boase, One Essex Court

Tim Buley, Landmark Chambers

Edmund Burge, Five St Andrew’s Hill

Peter Burns, Byrom Street Chambers

Victoria Butler-Cole, 39 Essex Chambers

John Cammegh, 9 Bedford Row

Giles Cannock, Kings Chambers

Lorraine Cavanagh, St John’s Buildings

Mark Chacksfield, 8 New Square

Richard Chapman, 18 St John Street Chambers

Nicholas Corsellis, QEB Hollis Whiteman

Catherine Cowton, Queen Elizabeth Building

Nicholas Craig, 3 Verulam Buildings

Timothy Cray, 6KBW College Hill

Clifford Darton, Ely Place Chambers

Andrew de Mestre, 4 Stone Buildings

Peter de Verneuil Smith, 3 Verulam Buildings

Katherine Deal, 3 Hare Court

Kevin Dent, 5 St Andrew’s Hill

Thomas Dumont, Radcliffe Chambers

Rory Dunlop, 39 Essex Chambers

David Durose, Furnival Chambers

Nigel Edwards, St Pauls Chambers

David Emanuel, Garden Court Chambers

Stephen Fietta, Fietta

Dean George, 2 Bedford Row

Katherine Goddard, Bank House Chambers

Michael Goodwin, Red Lion Chambers

Nina Grahame, Garden Court North Chambers

Margaret Gray, Brick Court Chambers

Jaime Hamilton, Nine St John Street

Jonathan Hand, Outer Temple Chambers

Mark Harries, Carmelite Chambers

Christopher Harris, 3 Verulam Buildings

Alec Haydon, Brick Court Chambers

Thomas Hickman, Blackstone Chambers

Isabel Hitching, Crown Office Chambers

Fiona Horlick, Outer Temple Chambers

Mozammel Hossain, 187 Fleet Street

Nicola Howard, 25 Bedford Row

Nicholas Isaac, Tanfield Chambers

Sarah Jones, Pump Court Chambers

Robert Kellar, 1 Crown Office Row

Charlotte Kilroy, Doughty Street Chambers

Ronit Kreisberger, Monckton Chambers

Lindsay Lane, 8 New Square

James Leabeater, 4 Pump Court

Mark Levy, Allen & Overy

David Lewis, Hardwicke

Richard Littler, Exchange Chambers

Dale Martin, Littleton Chambers

Jane McCafferty, 11KBW

Constance McDonnell, Serle Court

Nicholas Medcroft, Fountain Court Chambers

Christina Michalos, 5RB

Sian Mirchandani, 4 New Square

Keir Monteith, Garden Court Chambers

Giles Mooney, 9 Gough Square

Alison Morgan, 6KBW College Hill

Aparna Nathan, Devereux Chambers

Michelle Nelson, Red Lion Chambers

Brian Nicholson, 11 South Square

Robert Palmer, Monckton Chambers

Christopher Paxton, Red Lion Chambers

Alan Payne, 5 Essex Court Chambers

Simon Pentol, 25 Bedford Row

Fionn Pilbrow, Brick Court Chambers

Nigel Povoas, 7 Bedford Row

Steven Powles, Doughty Street Chambers

Sarah Pritchard, Kings Chambers

Aloke Ray, White & Case

Jonathan Rees, Churchers Solicitors

Jamie Riley, Littleton Chambers

James Rivett, Pump Court Tax Chambers

James Roberts, 1 King’s Bench Walk

Daniel Robinson, Red Lion Chambers

Dipen Sabharwal, White & Case

Daniel Saoul, 4 New Square

Diya Sen Gupta, Blackstone Chambers

Mohinderpal Sethi, Littleton Chambers

Daniel Shapiro, Crown Office Chambers

Neil Sheldon, 1 Crown Office Row

Nicholas Sidall, Littleton Chambers

Katherine Sloane, Monckton Chambers

Julia Smart, Furnival Chambers

Christopher Smith, Essex Court Chambers

Jessica Stephens, 4 Pump Court

John Thackray, Wilberforce Chambers

David Thomas, 39 Essex Chambers

James Todd, 39 Essex Chambers

Stephanie Tozer, Falcon Chambers

William Upton, Six Pump Court

Guglielmo Verdirame, 20 Essex Street

Jeremy Wainwright, 3 Temple Gardens

Victoria Wakefield, Brick Court Chambers

Robert Walton, Landmark Chambers

David Whittaker, 2 Hare Court

Adam Wolanski, 5RB

Damian Woodward-Carlton, 42 Bedford Row

Richard Wormald, Three Raymond Buildings

David Yates, Pump Court Tax Chambers

Hossein Zahir, Garden Court Chambers

Legal Business

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Globetrotters in Europe: Dentons and White & Case expand operations as Weil scales back in CEE again

Global players scaled up their investment in continental Europe this autumn, with Dentons launching its fourth German base and White & Case growing its French team. Meanwhile, Weil, Gotshal & Manges has shut its doors in Prague, its second office closure in central and eastern Europe (CEE) in 2018.

Dentons’ fast-growing German branch hired Taylor Wessing’s former head of competition, EU and trade, Andreas Haak, and employment partner Sascha Grosjean to lead the opening of the new outpost in Düsseldorf in January 2019. Germany managing partner Andreas Ziegenhagen told Legal Business the firm aims to have around 30 lawyers in the city in Germany’s industrial heartland, bringing the total headcount in the country to over 200.

Legal Business

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Disputes round-up: Simmons wins Petrofac mandate as White & Case makes key regulatory hire

Simmons & Simmons has landed a major Serious Fraud Office (SFO) investigation mandate at the expense of Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer.

Simmons’ crime, fraud and investigations head Stephen Gentle and partner Nick Benwell have been enlisted to defend oil and gas company Petrofac in the SFO probe, taking on the mandate from Freshfields.

The Magic Circle firm had been appointed to advise Petrofac after the SFO confirmed in May 2017 it was investigating the company due to ‘suspected bribery, corruption and money laundering.’ The probe formed part of a wider investigation into Unaoil, which is accused of the same offences.

In addition to Freshfields, Petrofac called on Ashurst’s veteran dispute partner Edward Sparrow in August 2017 to advise as a ‘senior external specialist’.

Freshfields declined to comment. Simmons was approached for comment.

Meanwhile, White & Case’s London lateral hiring spree has continued with the appointment of financial regulatory partner Jonathan Rogers.

Rogers joins from Taylor Wessing, where he had been a partner since 2008. At his time of leaving, Rogers was head of Taylor Wessing’s financial services regulatory group in London.

Carrying 20 years’ experience advising financial institutions on a full range of Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) investigations, Rogers has a particular focus on asset management, private banks, the payments industry as well as investment and lending platforms.

Eric Leicht, head of White & Case’s global banking practice, commented: ‘Banks continue to demand expert advice on regulatory regimes around the globe. Jonathan is well positioned to step in and assist our large, sophisticated financial institution clients on the most complex regulatory issues they face.’

Rogers’ arrival marks the second major lateral hire White & Case has made this month, following the recruitment of Weil Gotshal & Mages’ well-regarded banking head, Mark Donald.

Other recent laterals at White & Case include high-profile infrastructure partner Simon Caridia from Herbert Smith Freehills in October and in the same month, Weil counsel Thomas Falkus as a partner for its capital markets practice.

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

‘Real fire power’: Weil loses banking head to White & Case’s unrelenting hiring spree

‘Real fire power’: Weil loses banking head to White & Case’s unrelenting hiring spree

White & Case’s City hiring spree continues to go great guns with the recruitment of Weil Gotshal & Manges’ well-regarded head of banking, Mark Donald.

Donald has been at Weil for six years, taking on the head of banking role vacated by Stephen Lucas when he left for Kirkland & Ellis in 2014. Before Weil, Donald had spent 15 years at Hogan Lovells.

A leveraged finance lawyer by trade, Donald is experienced in acquisition finance, advising sponsors and banks on leveraged buyouts and mid-market transactions, as well as real estate acquisition finance and fund financing.

Eric Leicht, head of White & Case’s global banking practice, said: ‘We continue to build our leading banking practice in London, advising sponsors and lenders under both English and New York law on their most important transactions.’

He added: ‘We expect our leveraged finance work to grow as financial markets continue to evolve after the financial crisis, and Mark further strengthens our team, adding real fire power to the brand.’

White & Case has been on something of a whirlwind in the City, having gone full steam ahead with its NY-London focus and ambitions to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with the Magic Circle in London as part of a 2020 plan led by Oliver Brettle, member of the global executive committee and former London executive partner.

Brettle, London-based member of White & Case’s global executive committee, pointed to a strengthening of the banking practice this year, including through the internal promotions to partner of Richard Lloyd and Shameer Shah, and the lateral partner additions of Shane McDonald from Hudson Advisors and Sudhir Nair rom Baker McKenzie.

Other recent laterals at White & Case include high-profile infrastructure partner Simon Caridia from Herbert Smith Freehills in October and in the same month, Weil counsel Thomas Falkus as a partner for its thriving capital markets practice.

White & Case also recently added David Robertson, formerly of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, to its arbitration practice, Royal Bank of Scotland’s former head of litigation and investigations Laura Durrant as a partner, and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partner Steven Baker for the firm’s commercial litigation practice.

Another high-profile move from Weil to White & Case came at the start of the year in Weil’s co-head of dispute resolution, Hannah Field Lowes.

nathalie.tidman@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

London gets lion’s share of White & Case’s largest ever partner promotions round

London gets lion’s share of White & Case’s largest ever partner promotions round

White & Case has promoted 41 lawyers to partner in its largest ever promotion round, with London seeing more promotions than the whole of the US.

The promotion round, effective from January next year, represents a 32% increase on last year, when 31 were minted. London sees 13 promotions, up from seven last year, and ahead of the 12 in the US. The overall round is one up on the firm’s previous record of 40 two years ago.

Speaking to Legal Business, executive committee member Oliver Brettle (pictured) highlighted the firm’s focus on London and the US, which ‘in line with our strategic priorities’, accounted for 61% of the promotions.

London’s promotions include five in M&A, two in finance and two in capital markets. The City’s white collar, international arbitration, litigation and tax will get one new partner each. The promotions in the US include ten in New York and two in Washington.

‘We have a strong global footprint and we have always been very clear about our strategy: our geographic focus is to build further in New York and London,’ said Brettle, who stepped down as London executive partner in May to focus on the firm’s global strategy. He was replaced by US securities partner Melissa Butler.

In Europe, the firm promoted three in Paris, while Frankfurt, Berlin and Brussels got two each; Moscow, Prague and Geneva, just one. In Asia, Hong Kong saw two people promoted, while Abu Dhabi and Dubai had one each.

Women make up almost half of the lawyers promoted at 19.

The largest promotion round in White & Case’s history follows an 11% growth in revenue and 10% rise in profits per equity partner at the US-bred firm, to $1.8bn and $2.26m respectively. The London office outpaced the global revenue growth, hiking income 13% to $328m.

Its promotion round is, however, dwarfed by Kirkland & Ellis’ 122-strong cohort this year, although White & Case promoted more in London than the Chicago bred giant, who minted ten in the City.

marco.cillario@legalease.co.uk

For more on White & Case’s unlikely revolution, see ‘Reborn Supremacy’ (£)

Full list of London promotions:

  • Jonah Anderson – white collar
  • Lucy Bullock – M&A
  • James Holden – Arbitration
  • Monica Holden – Capital markets
  • Laura Hoyland – Tax
  • Hyder Jumabhoy – M&A
  • Helen Levendi – M&A
  • Richard Lloyd – Banking
  • Tom Matthews – M&A
  • Michael Mountain – M&A
  • Heather Rees – Capital markets
  • John Rogerson – litigation
  • Shameer Shah – Banking
Legal Business

White & Case continues City hiring spree with Herbert Smith infra heavyweight

White & Case continues City hiring spree with Herbert Smith infra heavyweight

White & Case’s aggressive sweep on the City lateral market has continued with the hire of Herbert Smith Freehills infrastructure partner Simon Caridia.

The high-profile Caridia joined Herbert Smith as a partner in May 2015 from Magic Circle firm Linklaters, where he worked for nearly ten years, latterly for two years as counsel. He started his career at CMS, and is expected to start at White & Case by the end of the year.

White & Case’s thirteenth lateral this year alone, Caridia advises on both greenfield and brownfield transactions, focusing on debt financings for infrastructure M&A and private equity transactions. He will join the global project finance practice, and counts infrastructure investors Arcus, Goldman Sachs, OMERS and DIF among his clients, as well as major European sponsors including Strabag, Skanska, Acciona and Hochtief.

While at Herbert Smith he worked on some high-profile transactions, including advising the commercial banks and the European Investment Bank on the €800 million financing of the IJmond Sea Lock PPP project in the Netherlands, which reached financial close in October 2015.

At Linklaters he led a team advising the lenders on the £1.2bn financing of the UK’s M25 motorway expansion project, a PFI that made it over the line in 2009 in spite of the financial crisis.

White & Case has been on something of a whirlwind in the City, having gone full steam ahead with its NY-London focus and ambitions to go ‘toe-to-toe’ with the Magic Circle in London as part of a 2020 plan led by Oliver Brettle, member of the global executive committee and former London executive partner.

Already this month, the firm snapped up a Weil, Gotshal & Manges counsel Thomas Falkus as a partner for its thriving capital markets practice and also added David Robertson, formerly of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, to its arbitration practice.

Other recent hires include Royal Bank of Scotland’s former head of litigation and investigations Laura Durrant as a partner, and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partner Steven Baker for the firm’s commercial litigation practice.

nathalie.tidman@legalease.co.uk

For more on White & Case’s expansion strategy, read: Reborn supremacy – inside the unlikely White & Case revolution

Legal Business

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

Disputes round-up: White & Case continues hiring drive with RBS litigation head as HSF partner appointed deputy High Court judge

White & Case is continuing its bid to add firepower to its London disputes bench with the hire of The Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS)’s former head of litigation and investigations Laura Durrant as a partner.

Meanwhile, Swiss disputes firm LALIVE is opening an arbitration-focused office in London and Herbert Smith Freehills’ (HSF) litigation partner Adam Johnson QC has been appointed a deputy High Court judge.

Durrant started her career as an associate with HSF in 2006, before opting to move in-house to RBS in 2010 where she went on to occupy a number of roles. Most recently, she acted as the banking giant’s head of litigation, regulatory and investigations.

For White & Case, Durrant’s arrival continues a recent trend of hiring ex-banking lawyers. The firm brought in fellow litigation partner Chris Brennan in June, after previous spells at Lloyds Banking Group and the Financial Conduct Authority.

It also marks a concerted attempt by the expansive US firm to aggressively hire for its City disputes bench to enable it to contend with the Magic Circle. Last month, the firm enlisted contentious construction and engineering partner David Robertson to its arbitration team from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) and Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft litigation partner Steven Baker to its commercial litigation practice.

John Reynolds, White & Case disputes partner, told Legal Business: ‘We have made a concerted effort to bring in the right people for the banking litigation team, we’ve made four laterals in the area this year. The combination between Chris, myself and Laura I feel fantastically optimistic about, we all get on really well.’

Charles Balmain, head of EMEA disputes for White & Case, commented: ‘As we continue to compete toe-to-toe with the magic circle, it’s exciting to welcome an experienced and accomplished lawyer like Laura, who has a strong market profile and excellent relationships with key figures in the banking industry.’

Elsewhere, Withers has taken advantage of the recent exodus at the newly-formed Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, appointing legacy Bryan Cave’s head of arbitration Emma Lindsay.

Lindsay, who will be located in Withers’ New York office, is a dual-qualified international disputes lawyer and typically represents corporates and sovereigns across a range of jurisdictions.

Peter Wood, head of Withers’ disputes division, said: ‘Her arrival at the firm extends our international arbitration capabilities to the US. With Emma in place in New York, we can now offer our clients expert arbitration advice across the US, Asia and Europe.’

After the emphatic endorsement of being appointed to Queen’s Counsel in 2017, HSF litigation partner Adam Johnson QC has now been elected to serve as a deputy High Court judge.

Johnson QC will act on a four-year term and is expected to sit for around 30 days a year, dealing with complex cases which would otherwise be undertaken by permanent High Court judges. He has substantial experience from his time at HSF, joining the firm in 1988 and acting on high-profile mandates such as representing RBS in the litigation arising out of the 2008 rights issue.

Out of a total of 32 deputy High Court judges appointed, only four were solicitors. Picked alongside Johnson QC was Bristows’ competition and regulatory head Pat Treacy, former Powell Spencer and Partners lawyer Margaret Obi, and former Thompsons partner Mary Stacey.

Johnson QC told Legal Business: ‘I have been practising law for over 30 years and the profession has given a lot to me, so there is a sense that it was important for me to give something back. As a solicitor I hope that the expertise I have had in that role will provide a slightly different and valuable perspective.’

Finally, Swiss outfit LALIVE has announced that it is opening an office in London. The new outpost, which will be focused on commercial and investment treaty arbitration, will be led by a two-partner team consisting of Marc Veit and Timothy Foden.

Veit has been with LALIVE since 2014 while Foden has recently joined the firm after previously acting as of counsel at Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan.

LALIVE has bucked recent fears by placing its faith in the UK as a post-Brexit arbitration hub. Veit commented: ‘We believe that the UK will remain a key location for international arbitration post-Brexit. London’s attractiveness as a seat for international arbitration may actually increase as third parties may see England as being a more neutral venue outside of the EU.’

tom.baker@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Revolving Doors: Sullivan & Cromwell ends City recruitment hiatus as White & Case lead firms strengthening in Asia

Revolving Doors: Sullivan & Cromwell ends City recruitment hiatus as White & Case lead firms strengthening in Asia

There are signs the summer hiring lull is coming to an end after Sullivan & Cromwell and Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) made significant London plays, while White & Case led an array of firms looking East.

Sullivan & Cromwell broke a five-year duck in the City by hiring Jeremy Kutner from Shearman & Sterling. Kutner, who was made partner in 2012, had headed up Shearman’s technology, media and telecoms (TMT) industry group, advising a plethora of major media companies including Liberty Global, Virgin Media and Vivendi.

Sullivan’s last City lateral before Kutner was restructuring partner Chris Howard, who joined from Linklaters in 2013. The firm claims it is looking to strengthen its City corporate practice further.

A spokesperson for Shearman commented: ‘We can confirm that Jeremy Kutner will be leaving the firm. We wish him all the best for the future.’

BCLP, meanwhile, made an addition with Elizabeth Hicks, who will spearhead the firm’s family asset protection team in London. Hicks joins from Irwin Mitchell, where as partner she acted as head of family law. She previously worked at Kingsley Napley, where she was made partner in 2001.

The move comes as BCLP looks to improve its wider private client capability. Global co-head of the firm’s private client practice, Damian Bloom, commented: ‘Elizabeth’s arrival furthers the family asset protection group’s ambition of seamlessly servicing high net worth clients on complex high value family and asset protection matters. There are growing opportunities in this space across the private wealth sector, and a global commercial law firm with international family disputes capability is an attractive proposition for prospective clients.’

Finishing off the domestic recruitment round, RPC announced the hire of professional indemnity partner Rhian Howell from Beale & Co to the firm’s Bristol office. Howell had previously acted as head of the Bristol office for Beale.

Meanwhile, American heavyweight White & Case kicked off an international recruitment round dominated by appointments in Asia, announcing the hire of Bingna Guo as partner in the firm’s Beijing office. Guo joins from O’Melveny & Myers, where she had spent her entire career and was made partner in 2012.

Guo has experience in international investigations and providing compliance advice on domestic and cross-border matters for multinational companies.

White & Case’s China head Alex Zhang said: ‘China continues to be a key Asia-Pacific jurisdiction in which White & Case is targeting further growth. Bingna, an experienced and highly capable partner with strong client relationships and an excellent market reputation, is an exciting addition to our team who adds further breadth and depth to the firm’s practice in China.’

Elsewhere in Asia, DWF continued its run of hires with the appointment of Jonathan Goacher to its Singapore office. Goacher joins from Kennedys, where he led the firm’s regional corporate insurance practice, and was previously a consultant at DLA Piper’s Bangkok office for more than a decade. Goacher is also a New York-qualified lawyer.

Oommen Mathew, managing partner of DWF Singapore, said: ‘Jonathan will be a very strong addition to our Singapore practice as we look to build our corporate and transactional offering to further capitalise on the opportunities in the market.’

Finishing off the international round, Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan joined the Asia hiring spree in securing the services of former Finnegan, Henderson, Farabow, Garret & Dunner partner York Faulkner. Faulkner’s practice focuses on intellectual property litigation, adding to Quinn’s Tokyo litigation offering, as well as bringing experience from acting as a federal prosecutor in the U.S Department of Justice.

Managing partner, John Quinn, welcomed the hire: ‘We have been looking to add the right person to the Tokyo office for a while now. We are very excited to have York join us.’

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

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

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.

thomas.alan@legalease.co.uk

Legal Business

Their kind of town: White & Case hires in Chicago as firm launches in the Windy City

Their kind of town: White & Case hires in Chicago as firm launches in the Windy City

More than 100 lawyers are eventually expected to join the new office

White & Case is continuing its dynamic growth drive by launching an office in Chicago, spearheaded by Jason Zakia, the head of its disputes practice in the Americas.