BLP halves Dewey line-up in London

Questions were raised over the stability of Dewey Ballantine’s European network last week, after two of its remaining four London-based English partners left the firm for Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP).

Dewey’s London managing partner Fred Gander agreed that recruiting UK-qualified partners was now a priority for the firm.

“It’s true that on the UK side we’re currently rather thin,” he admitted. “But the London office has grown by 20 per cent on the assistant side since January 2005, and we’re in discussions with a number of partners. We’re here to stay.”

Mark Saunders and Adam Dann, both corporate partners focused on the energy industry, left Dewey last Friday (13 January).

Saunders will head BLP’s energy and natural resources team, while both lawyers will form part of the fast-growing international projects team headed by Jonathan Simpson. Simpson joined BLP from Dewey last October.

Saunders, who was at Dewey for seven years, was previously a partner at Nabarro Nathanson, while Dann was legal manager of British Borneo Oil & Gas prior to joining the US firm.

Their exits leave Dewey London office with just two English partners, tax specialist David Blumenthal and the projects-focused Jane Da Vall. Although Dewey has offices in Italy, Germany and Poland, it is doubtful whether it could sustain those in the long term without an English law capability in London.