Hill Taylor Dickinson heaves to after storm of recruitment

After poaching its ninth lawyer in two weeks, maritime and insurance firm Hill Taylor Dickinson is preparing to take stock of its dramatic recent growth.

Nabarro Nathanson Lloyds office partner Russell Gardner is the latest to join Hills, just days after The Lawyer revealed the entire 15-strong McKenna & Co Lloyds team was defecting to the firm.

Gardner has a strong client base of shipping owners and he had joined Nabarro in 1994 as a partner to set up the firm's shipping practice.

“The McKennas team and Russell joining us stems from a decision earlier in the year that we would look to recruit from outside the firm at a senior level,” said Hills chairman John Pople. “We wanted to expand on the non-marine insurance side, which is where the McKennas boys fit in.”

However, Hills' 22 partners were meeting this week and were expected to decide to slow the rapid recruitment policy. “We should take a pause to digest, but remain open to approaches,” said Pople.

Hills has opened offices in Greece, Hong Kong and Dubai in the last three years, in response to increasing legal work in these markets.

Nabarros still has two shipping partners. A spokesman said they had no immediate plans to replace Gardner.