Cornish partners head for Price Waterhouse

Leading commodities lawyer Martin Cornish – revealed to be joining Price Waterhouse's law firm Arnheim & Co by The Lawyer last week – is bringing two partners, four fee earners and two support staff with him from his practice.

The only remaining partner in MW Cornish & Co, Peter Astleford, is joining Titmuss Sainer Dechert with assistant Catherine Ercilla. They will be setting up a new financial services practice as a joint venture between Titmuss Sainer in the UK and Dechert Price & Rhoads in the US.

Cornish, as well as becoming an Arnheim partner on 1 July, will also be head of financial services across Price Waterhouse's entire European legal network.

He brings with him two partners, Simon Firth, a specialist in collective investment schemes and Andrew Maclaren, who joins as a consultant, as well as assistants Joe Coffey, Claire Cummings and Andrew Bowman and paralegal Bridget Hui, plus two support staff.

Chris Arnheim, founder of Arnheim & Co, said he was introduced to Cornish by headhunters. “He's absolutely the person we are looking for. He's had experience of a top city law firm and he's got the practice development experience we need.”

Cornish, a former Simmons & Simmons partner, set up his own firm six years ago when he left merchant bank Shearson Lehman Hutton. Astleford, who joined him four years ago, said Cornish's decision to leave had triggered his move to join Titmuss Sainer.

Astleford commented: “I think the ending of Cornish & Co has been somewhat premature. It could have been a fantastic firm in 10 or 15 years. There is still demand in London for a good alternative law firm for financial services work.”

Astleford becomes a partner in both Titmuss Sainer and the US firm Decherts and intends to build what he says is the first one-stop financial service practice for US institutions looking to invest in the UK and visa versa.