Paisners hires Ladbrokes legal chief

Paisner & Co has hired Ladbrokes’ Betting and Gaming Worldwide head of legal and two partners from Ernst & Young and Greenwoods.

Hilary Stewart-Jones leaves her post as Betting and Gaming Worldwide’s head of legal and legal director to join Paisners’ computer, media and intellectual property team (CMIP) as a partner. The Hilton Group member will now become one of the firm’s clients.

The move will leave Betting and Gaming Worldwide without an in-house legal capability although Stewart-Jones says that she will continue to advise on its e-gaming business and international disposals.

Stewart-Jones says: “I don’t regard there to be a conflict with my Ladbrokes work. They are aware that I want to make the move to service a wider client base.” Stewart-Jones says that she had already been approached by another e-gaming business.

Ladbrokes’ Worldwide Betting and Gaming business is expected to continue using Olswang for a proportion of its e-commerce work and SJ Berwin and Slaughter and May for corporate and commercial work.

Harold Paisner, senior partner at Paisners, says: “We didn’t have this expertise before. Hilary fits very well with the CMIP team and with our leisure activities generally.”

Sara Cohen, a senior manager at Ernst & Young in London who left Paisners five years ago as an assistant, will head the share scheme practice within the corporate tax group. She says: “I wasn’t looking to move at all. I have been very happy at Ernst & Young but Paisners approached me and made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.”

Paisners’ construction team also gains a new partner. Julian Holloway has led the construction and commercial litigation department at Greenwoods, London, for seven years. He will take his practice, which serves contractors and sub-contractors, with him. Greenwoods will narrow its construction presence to serving its insurer clients.

Holloway says: “I have for some time been the only partner on the construction side at Greenwoods. I’ve been looking to join a dynamic team and I think I’ve found it. I really felt I needed to be part of a larger team to be able to service my clients more effectively.”

Holloway’s arrival will bring Paisners’ construction partner count up to four. The firm is also talking to a fifth lawyer.

Paisners has recruited five new partners since September, when Moira Protani and Amanda Lewis joined the firm (The Lawyer, 18 September). Paisner says: “We are in an expansionary phase at the moment. We are looking forward to continuing to grow the firm in our focus areas of new economy/corporate, property/construction and leisure.”