Ashurst partner takes in-house role at engineering company Bechtel

Ashurst partner Alex Cunliffe has become the latest member of the firm’s real estate and construction teams to leave the City outfit.

Cunliffe, a London construction partner, is set to join engineering giant Bechtel in an in-house legal role.

She has already left the firm but it is still unclear when she starts at Bechtel and what position she will hold.

Her departure comes on the back of non-contentious construction head Marc Hanson’s exit for Berwin Leighton Paisner last month (3 October 2011).

Cunliffe joined Ashurst from CMS Cameron McKenna in 2006 and made partner in 2008 (1 April 2008).

She is the second partner to move in-house in the latest spate of exits from the City firm, especially within the real estate, construction and energy practices.

Financial litigation partner Wilson Thorburn left the firm for an in-house position, quitting to join JPMorgan as head of litigation for Europe, the Middle East and Africa (12 October 2011). He left alongside litigation partner Michael Madden, who has a strong real estate disputes practice and is set to join Winston & Strawn.

Real estate funds partners David Evans and Samantha Lake Coghlan quit Ashurst for US firm Goodwin Procter (11 October 2011), while DLA Piper hired Ashurst real estate partner Simon Cookson as head of its London real estate team (9 September 2011).

Restructuring partner David von Saucken has also left the firm, joining Kaye Scholer (1 November 2011). He has a focus on the real estate sector.