Dorsey team defects to LG to sue banks

A four-lawyer litigation team has defected from the London office of US firm Dorsey & Whitney to LG so that it can sue financial institutions.

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, James Curle and Thomas Ross join LG as partners this Monday 11 February. They will also bring an associate with them, Verity Barker.

Douglas-Henry told The Lawyer: “LG offers us a more flexible home in terms of the ability to act for and against financial services clients, something institutional US firms have greater difficulties with.”

Dorsey’s London managing partner Paul Klaas said: “JP informed us that they plan to build their practices by suing banks and other financial institutions. That plan cannot be pursued at Dorsey, because we represent so many banks and other financial institutions.

“Their plan is simply incompatible with Dorsey’s recently-confirmed focus on representation of the financial services industry, so they are going to a firm where suing banks and other financial institutions would not create so many ethical or business conflicts.”

Douglas Henry, who became a partner at Dorsey & Whitney at the end of 2006, is best known for work in the areas of banking, financial services and fraud, working with clients including Marks and Spencer.

He is joined by James Curle, who was made up to the partnership at the beginning of this year and who acted for JP Morgan in the Enron litigation, and senior counsel Thomas Ross. All three partners were associates at Slaughter and May before joining Dorsey.

The Minneapolis-based firm enjoyed an outstanding year in London with revenue rising 24 per cent from $21.37m to $26.49m. Across the firm, revenue rose 11.3 per cent from $329.5m to $366.8m.

Klass said: “The firm is confirming its intent to continue investing in our strong M&A, tax litigation, and capital markets practices. The additions of Paul Farmer from the European Commission, the return of Michael Anderson to us from DLA, and adding several associates to both our US and UK corporate practices, have been part of that process, which will continue. Another stated focus practice area for the global firm is intellectual property/technology. We are building up that practice in London, and we are actively seeking senior additions with expertise in IP.”

Dorsey intends to continue investing in its London office, said Klaas, and is happy to run its European practice through its London office.