Hunters is taking advantage of the fallout from the Dawsons-Penningtons merger and the senior management changes at Farrer & Co to ramp up its presence within Lincoln’s Inn.
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The firm, which has traditionally kept out of the limelight, is set to take a higher profile following the recent election of senior partner Paul Almy.
Almy said: “Our private client department is certainly on a par with Payne Hicks Beach’s and Farrer & Co’s,” he said. “We intend to stay within Lincoln’s Inn – in terms of size 120-150 people would be optimum.”
Last month Hunters merged with Gray’s Inn boutique Vernor-Miles & Noble, adding three partners.
“It fits because they had a charity, private client and property practice and were choosing to refer commercial work to other firms,” explained Almy. “This will give them the opportunity to bring all that in-house.”
This move has now been augmented by the hire of Dawsons’ former head of corporate commercial Stephen Morrall.
“Hunters has a sizeable chunk of private client work and we have clients who prefer not to go to huge City practices for advice,” Almy said. “We also have a thriving business law department and need to recruit all-rounders into it. Stephen’s someone who has that broad-brush approach.”
Hunters was one of several firms to raid Dawsons prior to its merger with Penningtons, which completed last week, with just seven of the 21 partners it had at the 2009-10 year-end opting to stay with the firm.
Dawsons’ former head of litigation Mathew Rae, who also had a stint as managing partner, last week joined Bryan Cave as a partner.