New London chief for Stibbe

Herbert Smith’s Dutch alliance Stibbe is relocating corporate and capital markets partner Derk Lemstra to London to head the firm’s City arm.

Lemstra, who is due to move to London in the summer, will be replacing the current resident partner of Stibbe’s London office Gerhardt Vels.

Lemstra’s appointment coincides with Herbert Smith’s plans to accelerate the integration of the firm’s practices with those of Stibbe and its German alliance firm Gleiss Lutz.

Though there are still no immediate plans for a full-scale merger Herbert Smith’s senior partner elect David Gold is keen to bring the alliance members closer together so they have the ability to serve clients as though they are one firm.

The integration has already resulted in partner secondments between the three firms but in the future there are likely to be more secondments, which may also be opened up to junior lawyers.

Stibbe currently has one other partner in London, tax specialist Michael Molenaars. Vels, who moved to London in April 2003, will return to Amsterdam in the summer.