Brown Rudnick kicks off first round of hires in UK

Boston-based Brown Rudnick Berlack Israels has become the latest US firm to launch an assault on the UK market, with plans to more than double the size of its UK presence by the year-end.

London managing partner Scott Burns claimed that the firm had a dozen lateral hires in various stages of discussions, including restructuring and insolvency specialists and a finance and litigation team.

Burns said the firm hoped to back up these appointments with further lateral hires during the year in a bid to reach 30-40 lawyers by the year-end. The office is currently home to 11 lawyers.

Such growth would indicate a significant investment in the firm’s London presence, as Brown Rudnick only has 200 lawyers globally.

However, the firm has more than enough capital available to fund the move, having been awarded more than $178m (£103m) in legal fees for advising the Commonwealth of Massachusetts in its successful lawsuit against the country’s biggest tobacco firms in 1998.

Brown Rudnick has sparked off its planned hiring spree in London by luring noted technology specialist Rory Graham away from Baker & McKenzie. Graham will start at Brown Rudnick next Monday (27 February).

The move reunites Graham with former Osborne Clarke colleagues Kieran O’Connor and Matthew Sillett. Graham said this, combined with the Brown Rudnick’s expansion plans, were key reasons for his decision to move.

Brown Rudnick also hired London bankruptcy and finance partner Peter Declercq from Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld in January.