Hill Taylor hit by partner defections

Hill Taylor Dickinson has been hit by the loss of two insurance partners, who joined the firm less than two years ago from what was then McKenna & Co.

Robin Williams and Tim Burton joined Hill Taylor in November 1996, when they led a defection of McKennas' 15-strong Lloyd's team.

Williams has already joined Titmuss Sainer Dechert, and Burton, in an unrelated move, is joining a Hill Taylor Dickinson client, the Benfield Group.

The Lawyer understands that Williams decided to move because he believed the McKenna & Co Lloyd's practice was not gelling with Hill Taylor Dickinson's marine team.

The loss of Williams and Burton is the third blow for Hill Taylor Dickinson in the last 18 months.

In July last year four insolvency lawyers, including partner Paul Oughton, left for Nicholson Graham & Jones.

And last month The Lawyer revealed that the firm was forced to close its Hong Kong office when resident partner Nick Mallard and two assistants joined Dibb Lupton Alsop's Hong Kong practice.

The hiring of Williams and his assistant Heather McIlwain is a boost for Titmuss Sainer's insurance practice, which last year lost its then head of department, Andrew Holderness, to Clyde & Co.

Williams will be working at Titmuss Sainer with Michael Smith – the firm's former senior partner – to create a 12-lawyer multi-disciplinary insurance team.

“The old contentious/non-contentious divisions that lawyers get so hung up on are not so relevant to the punters as we think,” he said.

Hill Taylor Dickinson senior partner John Pople refused to comment.