BLG’s Canning quits for Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown” />Mayer Brown has dealt a major blow to Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG), poaching a three-partner team led by commercial litigation head Clare Canning.

Canning is set to join Mayer Brown along with partners Simon Willis and Matthew Lawson in the coming weeks.

Julian Randall, currently a litigation partner at BLG, will step up to head the professional liability and commercial litigation team following Canning’s departure.

Clint Evans, chief executive of BLG, said: “Clare’s leaving after 22 years for a different challenge and we wish her the best of luck. Julian will be taking over her position and he has similar levels of experience, having defended PwC in its case against Barings.”

Canning has been a partner at BLG since 1992 and became head of commercial litigation in 2004. Her experience includes advising of financial institutions, hedge funds and private equity houses and she led the team that defended Equitable Life’s £2.6bn claim against Ernst & Young.

Willis and Lawson made partner at BLG in 2003.

According to Canning the move represents a fresh challenge for herself and the team. “Mayer Brown’s existing expertise coupled with its commitment to develop its litigation practice is enormously attractive in terms of the opportunities it presents,” she said.

David Allen, Mayer Brown’s London head of litigation, added: “Their appointment will significantly enhance our existing expertise and is another step forward in the implementation of our litigation strategy in London.”

As reported in The Lawyer (24 September) the firm has already beefed up its corporate and real estate practices with the addition of Alistair Bird from Simmons & Simmons and Gary Watson from Ashurst. They will join the respective practices in the next six weeks.

Their appointments followed that of corporate rainmaker William Charnley, as first revealed on www.thelawyer. com (10 September), who joins from McDermott Will & Emery at the beginning of October.