Cadwalader gets first lady of litigation

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft’s London office has poached Michelle Duncan as its first litigation partner from rival New York firm Weil Gotshal & Manges.

Duncan, a banking litigator, moved to Weil Gotshal after seven years at Clifford Chance with the office’s founding partner Maurice Allen in 1996. Allen left the firm earlier this year.

But she says: “My departure had nothing to do with Maurice Allen and co leaving the firm.”

Instead she says she sees greater opportunities to develop her practice at Cadwalader than there is at Weil Gotshal. “There is already a litigation practice at Cadwalader in London, and it’s a question of building on that,” she says.

Duncan is dual-qualified in New York and English law. Her arrival brings the number of lawyers at Cadwalader’s London office to 31.

The firm now has nine London partners after the promotion of restructuring specialist Lyndon Norley and real estate associate Alan Lawrence.