…as second partner joins Brown & Wood

Brown & Wood has snapped up its second Simmons & Simmons partner in as many months.

Equity partner Colin Mercer will join the firm as a capital markets partner after six-months' gardening leave.

Assistant solicitor Lucy Clark is also leaving Simmons for Brown & Wood with Mercer, although she is not subject to gardening leave.

Both follow John Russell, co-founder of Simmons' securities practice, who joined the US firm last month (The Lawyer, 8 November).

Head of Brown & Wood's London office Chris Mead told The Lawyer at the time of Russell's appointment that the lateral hire was part of an on-going recruitment drive.

The firm intends to increase the number of partners in the London office from seven to between 10 and 15.

Mead says: “This now brings our London office to more than 30 lawyers, including 15 UK-qualified solicitors. We plan to further develop the office by continuing to hire partners in our core areas.”

Brown & Wood's managing partner Thomas Smith adds: “We have built a truly impressive English law capital markets practice by recruiting numerous partners and solicitors from prominent English law firms.”

Mercer has been with Simmons since 1985. He specialises in structured finance as well as advising banks on mainstream banking issues.

Simmons confirms Mercer and Cook's departure but refuses to comment further.