Clydes’ Manchester fraud head takes 17-strong team to Keoghs

Clyde & Co’s Manchester fraud head Damian Ward is to take a team of 17 to Keoghs after quitting the firm in the summer.

The insurance fraud team is expected to join the rival Manchester firm in the coming weeks, following in the footsteps of Clydes’ former Manchester head Dene Rowe.

Clydes inherited the Manchester base last year as part of its deal to acquire Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) (8 August 2011).

Legacy BLG had acquired the Manchester base when it agreed to take 17 partners and more than 200 staff from Halliwells in the wake of that firm’s collapse in June 2010 (26 July 2010). At that point BLG, like Gateley – which had acquired 40 partners as part of the deal – is understood to have imposed a two-year lock in on partners.

Manchester-based sources said now that period had come to an end several former Halliwells lawyers were on the hunt for a new home.

Ward, who headed a 50-strong team in Manchester, is understood to be currently on gardening leave from the firm while negotiating an exit. Meanwhile, the team of approximately 17 or 18 will join Keoghs in the coming weeks.

It comes just weeks after former BLG chief executive David Jabbari quit the firm (5 November 2012). It is not clear whether Jabbari has secured a new position.

In April Clydes saw the exit of seven Hong Kong-based partners, with four legacy BLG partners joining London rival RPC in the jurisdiction (4 April 2012). A further three partners left to join Bird & Bird’s Hong Kong office and Simmons & Simmons’ local base.