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Three of CMS Cameron McKenna's five health and safety partners are defecting to the London office of US firm Arnold & Porter.
The partners are head of health and safety Ian Dodds-Smith, pharmaceuticals partner Amanda Wearing and healthcare partner Alison Brown. A consultant within Camerons' health and safety group is also joining the US firm. According to Camerons, the three partners are all leaving for personal reasons and there are no immediate plans to replace them. Camerons chief executive Robert Derry-Evans said: "I think they're going for personal reasons." But he could not say with any certainty why their personal reasons for leaving coincided to the point of leaving for the same firm at the same time. "I suppose they all work very closely together," he said. Derry-Evans admitted that there were no plans to replace the three partners in the health and safety group. "We have a number of star partners in other practices who work very closely with our pharmaceutical clients," he said. The three partners will be a huge addition to Arnold & Porter's healthcare practice in London, which is currently run by one partner, Liz Driver, and one assistant. Dodds-Smith will head the European product liability practice group, and co-head the international food and drug practice group with Bill Vodra in the US. According to Arnold & Porter London managing partner Fern O'Brien, a "substantial number" of paralegals and assistants are also moving over from Camerons. O'Brien would not reveal whether Arnold & Porter had poached the Camerons team, but she admitted that the hires were part of a global strategy to widen Arnold & Porter's coverage of clients that were previously shared with Camerons. "Ian and the others are considered the premier healthcare practice in Europe," she said. "There are a number of common clients between Arnold & Porter in the US and this group. We can now offer these clients a one-stop transatlantic shop for all their legal needs."