BLP plans to boost hospitality with star hire from Garretts

Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) hopes to gain a string of new leisure and hospitality clients after hiring a high-profile hotels partner from Andersen Legal's disbanded law firm Garretts.
Andrew Little is a former general counsel for Holiday Inns International and was a partner in Field Fisher Waterhouse's highly-rated leisure team before joining Garretts in 1997 to build up an international practice. He was not a member of the worldwide partnership, which has been named in Enron litigation.
At BLP, Little hopes to continue his relationships with key clients such as hotel owner Muirgold, conference centre operator Hailey and the Hilton Corporation in the US, none of which have instructed the BLP team before. Little also hopes to bring British Hospitality Association work with him and he has an existing relationship with BLP client Marylebone Warwick Balfour.
Little had a number of options when it became clear that Garretts would dissolve, but said: “What really attracted me to this firm is the fact that it has a very good hotel practice already and it wants to continue developing that.
Since the BLP merger a year ago, the combined firm has sought to capitalise on synergies between the Paisner name for hotels work and Berwin Leighton's finance expertise. Last year, BLP teams advised Compass Group on the disposal of the Forte Hotel estate and the Royal Bank of Scotland on the £1.9bn acquisition of Le Meridien Hotels.
In light of BLP's recent assistant redundancies (The Lawyer, 13 May), hotel and leisure partner Jonathan Kropman said that this is the right time to hire individuals who will help to boost the firm's turnover and profit.