Morgan Lewis raids US rival for recruits

Morgan Lewis & Bockius has ramped up its English law capability by raiding the London office of US competitor Morrison & Foerster (MoFo) to launch its first UK employment capability.

Simeon Spencer joins Morgan Lewis as a partner to head the new UK labour and employment law group.

He moves across from the London office of MoFo along with one associate.

Morgan Lewis London managing partner Robert Goldspink said the firm was also in advanced discussions with several other employment specialists as a result of a long-running recruitment campaign.

The launch of the local labour and employment group is in line with Morgan Lewis’s international focus on labour and employment law, pushed in particular by the firm’s chairman Francis Milone, who is a labour specialist.

The loss of Spencer leaves MoFo with one employment partner in London, although the firm is actively recruiting a replacement. Spencer joined the San Francisco-based firm in 2002 through its merger with London employment boutique Jones & Warner.

According to The Lawyer UK 100 Annual Report 2005, Morgan Lewis was the 28th-largest international-headquartered firm in the UK, with a UK gross revenue of £10.2m.

In the US, Morgan Lewis ranked 14 after recording a gross revenue of $723.5m (£411.9m). This compares favourably with MoFo, which trailed in 24th position with a gross revenue of $593m (£337.6m).