Clydes lands CC shipping partner

Clifford Chance shipping partner Paul Turner has defected to Clyde & Co as the firm aims to refocus its shipping practice.

Clifford Chance became the last magic circle firm to drop its shipping litigation practice last December (The Lawyer, 10 December 2007).

The firm’s marine expertise has been moved into the asset finance practice, which also services aviation clients, in an effort to win new clients from the energy transport sector.

Clifford Chance asset finance partner John Lew told The Lawyer: “We want the high-end tax-based finance deals – these are key wins in the finance department.

“We’re looking to concentrate on shipowners in oil and gas transport. This has strong synergies with the financial institutions practices.”

Turner, he added, is an expert in cruise ship and super-yacht work, and that was no longer aligned with Clifford Chance’s aims.

Clydes said Turner’s appointment was key to its accelerated growth plans. The firm intends to grow its non-contentious base to account for half of the practice – up from 30 per cent.

Partner John Leonida said: “The usual vanilla transactions aren’t interesting for a firm of our quality.

I focus on super-yachts, which is a specialist area, and Paul coming on board with a focus on the cruise ship market means this is another area we can grow into.”