Clyde & Co to take over niche litigation practice

Clyde & Co is joining forces with leading niche commodities litigation practice Turner & Co.

The move is part of the City firm’s ongoing policy of building up particular practice areas, although it is the first time the firm has bolted-on an entire practice.

Two-partner Turner & Co is highly rated for its commodity work. It specialises in the soft commodities sector, acting for international trading houses, especially sugar traders, although it also acts on liquid and hard commodities.

Paul Turner and Roger Spencer, who founded the firm 15 years ago, will join Clyde & Co as equity partners at the end of January. The firm’s staff, including its two lawyers Daniel Walker and Nigel Durham, are also moving. Turner & Co will cease to exist after that date.

Clyde & Co commodities partner John Whittaker says: “Turner & Co’s expertise and client base gives us greater critical mass on the contentious side of our commodities practice.”

The firm already has a large commodities department headed by David Best but is perceived in the market as revolving around its main client, Swiss trading house Glencore International AG.

Turner says the decision to move was based on a need to increase the level of service the firm was providing.

He says: “Our clients will benefit from Clyde & Co’s full City service, particularly its non-contentious expertise, and the resources of an international practice.”

Turner confirms that no clients will be leaving after the move and adds: “They have taken it very positively. All of them seem to know about Clyde & Co and have been very supportive.”

Clyde & Co approached Turner & Co nine months ago.

Whittaker does not rule out further mergers. He says: “If we saw similar opportunities in our core areas then we would be interested in bolt-ons.”

Clyde & Co has recently undergone a spate of lateral hires to its Guildford offices as well as building up its presence in Dubai by sending out two partners.