Dechert boosts City litigation team with pair of DLA partners

Dechert is set to boost its London litigation practice with the addition of DLA Piper’s joint global head of litigation Neil Gerrard and EMEA head of corporate crime and investigations Jonathan Pickworth.

DLA Piper confirmed the pair had resigned yesterday and were in talks with the firm over a departure date.

Gerrard has driven the growth of the firm’s regulatory practice since his appointment in January 2005. During that time he has been responsible for the hire of several big hitters including former Serious Fraud Office (SFO) director Robert Wardle (6 May 2008).

In 2007, he oversaw the merger of DLA Piper’s litigation and regulatory teams to create one super group for the EMEA region. Until that point Gerrard had headed the firm’s regulatory and government affairs group (11 July 2007).

Pickworth, meanwhile, has built up a stellar reputation in the white collar crime market and specialises in fraud, bribery, corruption, tax and accounting matters . Until February Pickworth was still hiring for the firm, appointing Peters & Peters partner Jo Rickards to his practice (15 February 2011).

A statement released by the firm on behalf of European managing director Andrew Darwin said: “DLA Piper’s litigation and regulatory business has more than 300 partners globally and is sufficiently resilient to be able to cope with management changes.

“We’ve a strong leadership team and fully expect that the performance of this business, and the services we offer to our clients, will be unaffected.”