Lovell White Durrant is reaffirming its US presence by poaching a partner from a Chicago firm.
David Alberts, previously a partner at Chicago insurance firm Blatt Hammesfahr & Eaton, has joined Lovell's New York office of counsel, specialising in insurance and reinsurance.
The appointment comes just one month after Lovells opened a small office in Washington DC.
Joe McCullough, head of the US insurance and reinsurance practice at Lovell White Durrant, says Alberts' appointment boosts the head count of lawyers at the New York office to 15.
But he adds that two more associates will be joining Lovells and says the firm is actively looking to recruit partners.
Commenting on why Alberts has taken a step down from partner level to become of counsel, McCullough says: “London is very careful and deliberate in the recruitment process.”
But he says he expects Albert will be made up to partner level in time.
Joseph Markoski, European managing partner at US firm Squire Sanders & Dempsey, says: “Lawyers at small US practices are usually made up to partner level much faster than at larger firms.”
But he adds: “It is going to be very difficult for UK firms in the US to pursue US partners and those in senior positions to join.”
Markoski adds: “If UK firms want US lawyers they will have to offer them a career path.”