Clifford Chance global litigation chief quits firm

Clifford Chance’s global head of litigation Mark Kirsch has left the magic circle firm in the midst of the global partnership restructuring.

The magic circle firm is reshaping its US litigation practice to focus on regulatory matters, investigations and white collar crime, commercial litigation, antitrust and arbitration.

The practice will also focus mainly on cross border matters.

Washington DC-based litigation partner Juan Morillo will replace Kirsch as litigation head in the US. The Clifford Chance partnership will vote to decide who will replace Kirsch as global head.

An inside source said: “We’re resharpening our practice and as a result of this Mark Kirsch has decided to leave the firm.”

The source added that there will be further layoffs from the firm’s US litigation associate ranks. While numbers are yet to be confirmed the practice group has been informed that cuts will be made in the near future.

The firm shed 20 associates from its US litigation group in October last year.

Earlier this week The Lawyer reported that the US litigation practice had been reduced to six New York-based partners and seven DC partners as part of the firm’s global partnership restructuring (25 May).

The firm has suffered a spate of partner defections in recent months. Earlier this month The Lawyer reported that former litigation head Peter Chaffetz launched a Manhattan-based arbitration boutique with fellow Clifford Chance partners David Lindsey, Charlie Scibetta and James Hosking as well as counsel Cecilia Moss (6 May).