DWF is to launch a niche insurance practice in London, with the hire of two partners from Davies Lavery, following that firm's merger with Kennedys.
The firm has brought on catastrophic injury partners Graham Dickinson and Claire Bowler in a move to expand out of its northern origins.
DWF managing partner Andrew Leaitherland said that the focus of the practice will remain niche: "Transactional is not what you want on a London opening. The focus on the next 12 months will be on this. We will diversify broadly into litigation and later into transactional matters."
The London office, which will be based in EC3, will have a headcount of some 24 people in two months time, according to Leaitherland. The team will include two rehabilitation specialists.
Dickinson said: "DWF wants to be a full service insurance practice which will start with a catastrophic injury practice and we will be recruiting other broad based lawyers."
He added: "A lot of insurance clients realise that different skill sets are need for dealing with catastrophic personal injury claims. Everybody is aware that there is a need to supply rehabilitation services. The emphasis now is about how we implement it in practice which is where my team can bring experience to our insurance clients."