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Herbert Smith litigation partner Tom Custance has moved to 14-partner employment law specialist Fox Williams. He joined the firm last week as head of litigation.
Custance said he moved to a smaller firm to extend his experience as a solicitor advocate. "I just dealt with insurance litigation at Herbert Smith and wanted more flexibility," he said. "Also, I didn't have much chance to act as a solicitor advocate, as most of the big cases we worked on at Herbert Smith never went to court." Herbert Smith head of commercial litigation Harry Andersen agreed. "Because of the huge size of the cases we deal with at Herbert Smith, it was probably hard for him to get pure advocacy experience. "Fox Williams has much smaller cases, so he may think that he'd have more advocacy opportunities," said Andersen. Custance was a partner at Herbert Smith for five years. He was made up at the age of 32 and progressed to the level of fixed-share junior partner. In 1999/2000, partners in his position at Herbert Smith were paid a minimum of £317,000 a year. Custance has left under a restrictive covenant but has taken some clients with him. "I've taken a number of ongoing matters with me with the agreement of Herbert Smith," he conceded, although he refused to name the clients in question. At Herbert Smith, Custance led teams acting for track maintenance company Amey Rail in both the Southall and Ladbroke Grove train crash inquiries.