Debevoise’s City litigation team to treble in five years

Debevoise & Plimpton is gearing up to make its ­London litigation group a one-stop shop for disputes.

The US firm’s European litigation chairman Lord Goldsmith told The Lawyer he plans to increase the London litigation partner headcount from three to 10 over the next five years.

Goldsmith said: “I want the capability to handle all arbitrations and litigations all the way through – from the first instruction to the advocacy in court or at an arbitral tribunal.”

He added that this is already the case for the majority of the work brought into Debevoise, although the New York-headquartered firm still has to go to the bar for more complicated cases.

“On bigger things we’re still using members of the bar to help, but we’re no longer using them as leads, as I myself have been ­leading in court and using barristers as my juniors on cases,” explained Goldsmith.

The firm’s pledge comes as it hired Bird & Bird ­partner ;Sophie ;Lamb
to ramp up its London ­arbitration offering.

Lamb, who has come on board as an international counsel, joined Debevoise last week as it transferred international counsel Gaëtan Verhoosel from its Paris office to London in another bid to boost its arbitration capabilities (TheLawyer. com, 3 September).

Goldsmith, who joined the firm a year ago, said the addition of the duo means that London’s litigation practice has almost doubled in size in the past year.