DWF targets bankruptcy work with new partner appointment

North West firm Davies Wallis Foyster (DWF) has hired leading personal insolvency lawyer Mark Davies from Hillyer McKeown.

Davies was senior partner for the nine-partner regional firm and was the firm’s sole insolvency partner.

Based in DWF’s Manchester office, Davies will manage the expansion of DWF’s bankruptcy, individual voluntary arrangment (IVA) and insolvency practice. He will be the firm’s third full-time insolvency partner. Although DWF mostly handles corporate insolvency, it has worked on a smattering of IVAs, and Davies’ arrival will boost the firm’s personal insolvency practice.

Head of insolvency Andrew Gregory says: “Mark has single-handedly built up his own insolvency practice during the past eight years and he’s an expert in personal insolvency. Mark came highly recommended by senior people at KPMG. We got together for a chat and Mark decided he had gone as far as he could at Hillyer McKeown. It seemed Mark felt he couldn’t develop his work further; maybe he felt limited to smaller deals there.”

A spokesman for Hillyer McKeown says: “While we’re sorry to lose Mark, we wish him well in his new position. The firm will now be concentrating on the continued expansion of its other departments, including the fast-growing company and commercial, personal injury, and employment law departments. The partners are aiming to maintain the growth seen over the past five years, in terms of annual turnover and acquisition of key clients.”

Davies, who trained with Hillyer McKeown, has brought his entire client base to DWF. This consists of more than 100 case files with a range of blue chip clients including the Royal Bank of Scotland, KPMG and PricewaterhouseCoopers.

DWF has offices in Liverpool and Manchester but it plans to develop a significant London presence within the year.

This lateral hire follows last December’s hire of head of group compliance and legal policy Tony Bochenski from the Bank of Scotland Group. He joined DWF as a partner in the firm’s Manchester office (The Lawyer, 11 March 2000).