Herbies out of Deacons’ HK action

Herbert Smith has been ditched by the partners at the centre of Deacons’ successful Hong Kong court action against White & Case.

Ex-Deacons insolvency partners Mark Fairbairn and Edward Cairns are now being represented by Johnson Stokes & Master partner Nick Hunsworth, who is also advising White & Case on the appeal against the Hong Kong High Court ruling.

A Herbert Smith source said the decision to drop the firm was simply a way of cutting costs. “There was no point in spending money on two sets of lawyers,” he said.

However, Fairbairn has retained Herbert Smith for the ongoing arbitration over a restrictive covenant relating to the 1999 merger agreement between Deacons and White & Case.