US litigation powerhouse Boies Schiller & Flexner is handing the reins to Bingham partner Natasha Harrison to head its newly-launched London base, its first non-US office.
Harrison, who appeared in The Lawyer’s Hot 100 of 2011 for her work advising bondholders on the restructuring of Polish conglomerate Elektrim (22 October 2010), has been a partner at Bingham McCutchen’s London office since 2004. She has spearheaded Bingham’s litigation capability, most notably on the fallout over the collapse of the Icelandic banks.
There has been speculation surrounding the firm’s London managing partner since The Lawyer revealed that Boies Schiller was opening in London alongside Mississippi-based Butler Snow in May (28 May 2013).
Calls regarding Boies Schiller’s London launch were initally directed to partner Duane Loft, who had already split his time between New York and London. It is unclear how central a role he will play in the new office, though he advises some of the firm’s key clients including Goldman Sachs and Barclays, which uses the firm for litigation and investment banking matters (9 January 2012).
In a statement, Boies Schiller co-founder Jonathan Schiller said: “We are pleased to welcome Natasha Harrison as our new partner. Natasha is a distinguished English lawyer, with a leading practice in finance litigation and arbitration, areas in which our firm’s works is increasing globally each year. She will be the managing partner in our London office and joins our talented partnership in addressing clients’ most critical issues around the world.”
The firm’s foray into London points to a U-turn in global strategy for the firm. When The Lawyer interviewed partner Mike Brille about a potential City opening in 2008 he commented that the firm was already well positioned in the international market (9 May 2008).
Much of that positioning came through the international arbitration team led by co-founding partner Schiller. At the time the firm suggested it was confident that Schiller’s practice alone gives it sufficient scope to win international work without the need for an office in the City.