Browne Jacobson nabs Pinsents star

National firm Browne Jacobson has poached a leading banking partner from Pinsent Curtis to head its new banking and insolvency practice.

Duncan Murray is currently deputy head of banking and finance at Pinsent Curtis in Leeds, and will join Browne Jacobson at the end of November in its Nottingham office.

He refuses to comment on his reasons for leaving Pinsent Curtis, saying: “This is an ideal role for me and the chance to lead the direction of a practice area makes it a great opportunity.”

Currently Browne Jacobson has two dedicated banking lawyers and a seven-partner corporate department which covers banking work. Murray will be putting together a new team to deal with all banking and insolvency issues.

He says: “I am not starting by any means from a base position.

“My appointment is aimed at developing that practice area and focusing the expertise that is already there.”

Murray's appointment is the latest in a series of lateral hires by the firm, which last month recruited former Simmons & Simmons partner Richard Hulland to head its pensions practice.

It also poached Beachcroft Stanleys' head of health litigation Gay Wilder in July to set up a health practice at its London office.

Corporate partner at Browne Jacobson Robin Metcalfe says: “We are already in the banking market but this appointment will enable us to turn up both the volume of work and the experience of the department.

“Duncan has a strong background in the banking world and he will ultimately head a team of 10 or thereabouts.

“We will be promoting another partner next spring and we will carry on looking to beef it up.”

Murray, who has been at Pinsents for nine years, refused to comment on whether he was taking clients with him.