Jerome Mansmann and John Muolo have left the embattled London office for Reed Smith Warner Cranston. Pittsburgh rival Reed Smith has also scooped Buchanan's Dublin-based administrator Noel Daly to set up an Irish presence for the firm.
Mansmann will split his time between the Pittsburgh office and Reed Smith in London, while Muolo will be based permanently in London. The moves come as Buchanan undertakes a downsizing of its London office following a US-directed decision to concentrate on corporate finance and litigation.
Speculation has been rife about Buchanan pulling out of London, but the firm has stated its commitment to maintaining a London presence. It is not clear how many partners are deemed necessary for that presence. A source at the firm suggested wryly that the London office, could ultimately consist of one man, a dog and a brass plate.
|“Buchanan's London office could ultimately consist of one man, a dog and a brass plate, said a source at the firm”|
Keir Barrie, managing partner of Buchanan's London office confirmed that it no longer had US partners on the ground. He said: “Any input we need on US legislation, we will send to one of our US offices. We just refer it to them like they refer UK-related matters to us.”
Reed Smith's managing partner Gregory Jordan said: “This is a natural hire for Reed Smith because Jerry has a healthcare practice that aligns exceptionally well with one of our core strengths. He is developing a healthcare practice in the UK and he has substantial roots in Pittsburgh. It's a perfect fit for us on all levels.”
Mansmann was one of the partners instrumental in setting up Buchanan's London office. His healthcare practice and Muolo's healthcare and biotechnology specialisms did not fit with the firm's new focus for London.
They join the growing list of Buchanan's departed London office partners. Last year, managing partner Barry Francis left for Pinsent Curtis Biddle and three other partners headed for Addleshaw Booth & Co when Buchanan opted to dispense with its PFI practice.
There are eight partners remaining in the London office.