Dorsey tax team splinters as DLA Piper pounces

Dorsey & Whitney has lost its second tax expert within a week with barrister Leslie Allen heading to DLA Piper.

Last week (12 November) The Lawyer reported that Berwin Leighton Paisner hired Dorsey tax partner Liesl Fichardt to develop its contentious and international group within the tax department. The previous week (The Lawyer, 8 November) Dorsey had bolstered its tax practice with the hire of European Commission tax official Paul Farmer as a partner.

Dorsey’s tax team, led by partner Simon Whitehead, has been a market-leader, working on groundbreaking cases such as the landmark Marks & Spencer case against the Inland Revenue. But the team has splintered.

Allen, who was a partner equivalent at Dorsey, has joined the litigation and regulatory group as a senior consultant. He will rejoin former colleagues Simon Airey and Waseem Khokhar, who joined DLA Piper from Dorsey in January 2006. They joined along with Michael Anderson, who has since returned to Dorsey.

Allen specialises in indirect tax litigation, having spent five years in the Customs & Excise solicitor’s office and spending time at KPMG and Ernst & Young prior to joining Dorsey in 2003. His experience includes advising US and UK companies and multinationals.

Jonathan Pickworth, head of DLA Piper’s litigation and regulatory group in London, said Allen’s skills in tax litigation would enhance the team’s expertise in contentious tax work.”

Meanwhile, in France Bruce Mee has taken on the regional managing partner position at DLA Piper, taking over from Alan Cariddi. Cariddi has decided to step down after a quarter of a century in the role but will remain a partner at the firm.

Mee has led the firm’s Paris litigation and arbitration practice since 1997. He specialises in contentious matters in the areas of industrial and intellectual property law, commercial law, bankruptcy and insurance matters.

Also in Paris, the firm has appointed Véronique Collin and Clotilde Dirnat as partners in its finance and projects practice group. Collin joins from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where she was a partner, while Dirnat was most recently a partner at Herbert Smith.

In Rome, DLA Piper has added Clifford Chance counsel Annalisa Rossi to its corporate practice as partner. In Frankfurt Julia Schönbohm, also a Clifford Chance counsel, will join DLA Piper’s IP practice in January.

A Dorsey spokesperson was unavailable for comment.