Charnley quits McDermott for Mayer Brown

Mayer Brown has hired London McDermott partner William Charnley into its London corporate group – the firm’s first big UK signing since its worldwide restructure which has seen the departure of up to 45 partners, mostly in the US.

Charnley, who was one of the founders of McDermott’s London office in 1998, is set to join Mayer Brown on 1 October. Prior to that he had been a partner at Simmons & Simmons.

Confirming the move, Paul Maher, Mayer Brown global vice chairman, told The Lawyer: “We’re delighted to have a new striker in our team.”

In a statement, Charnley said: “I am delighted to be joining the highly regarded corporate team at Mayer Brown. The firm provides an excellent platform.”

In recent years Charnley’s practice has centred on private equity and hedge funds. He recently advised Paternoster Group on its formation and equity fundraising of £500 million from a consortium of investors including Deutsche Bank and Eton Park; and Aldersgate Investments as part of a consortium on the agreed cash offer for Duelguide plc for £2.1 billion.

Charnley’s is seventh partner departure in a year from McDermott. In recent times capital markets partners Andrew Croxford and Andrew Caunt left for White & Case, IP litigator Duncan Curley resigned to set up on his own and pensions partner Danny Tsang left to join K&L Gates in London.

Last November employment partners Fraser Younson and Rebecca Harding-Hill resigned from McDermott for BLP.

That said, McDermott’s London office head David Dalgarno said over the same time period the firm had attracted nine new partners with at least one more in the pipeline.

“The business is stronger now than it was 12 months ago and we are continuing to grow,” he said.

On Charnley’s departure, Dalgarno said the firm wished him well in his new position.