Herbert Smith has transferred a litigation partner into its in-house advocacy unit for the first time to work on the next stage of its development.
Litigation partner Adam Johnson joins resident QCs Murray Rosen and Ian Gatt, as well as two associates and a trainee, in the unit, which was launched in May 2005.
“I’ll be assisting with the management of the unit and its further development,” Johnson told The Lawyer. “They’ve wanted to get someone else involved for a while now.
“Part of the role that I can play is acting as a bridge between the unit and other parts of the firm, particularly the foreign offices.”
Johnson said that, while the unit was well integrated into the litigation department, it still needed to forge better links with non-contentious teams and offices overseas to fulfil its potential.
He said there would be recruitment within the next year from both the bar and from within the firm itself. Johnson said he could not rule out the hire of solicitor-advocates from other law firms.
The unit has been viewed sceptically by the bar and rival City firms, who said that it cannot hope to provide all the services of an independent chambers.
But Johnson argued that it was busy, citing cases such as an anti-suit injunction in the Court of Appeal on behalf of Enron, on which Rosen worked alongside Kenneth MacLean QC of One Essex Court.
He said unit members were often in court to argue interim applications, freezing orders and similar issues.