The highly-rated managing partner of US firm Buchanan Ingersoll is moving his PFI practice to Pinsent Curtis Biddle.
Barry Francis was one of the founders of the London office of Buchanan Ingersoll when he moved there from Beachcroft Wansbroughs at the start of last year. However, he was asked to leave the firm in June when it decided to ditch its PFI practice (The Lawyer, 25 June). Francis is understood to have talked to Osborne Clarke before deciding to join Pinsents. Pinsents partners are currently voting on whether to take on Francis, but a source said no problems were anticipated. A spokesperson said that the firm was unable to comment further at this stage. Pinsents completed a strategy review 18 months ago and identified its 10-partner major projects group as one of its nine key focus areas. The firm has a Leeds-based healthcare PFI practice headed by Michael Boyd, but Francis's highly rated healthcare PFI work will be a significant addition to the London office. It is understood that he will head the practice in the City. Francis's team was one of Beachcroft Wansbroughs' strongest before he moved to Buchanan Ingersoll. In the past three years Pinsents has acted on 14 major healthcare PFI projects, including advising on the £96m North Durham NHS Trust project and a new £150m hospital in Swindon.