King & Spalding hires partner duo from Bird & Bird

King & Spalding has boosted its London office with the hire of two litigation partners from Bird & Bird.

Jane Player and Sarah Walker are both partners in Bird & Bird’s London international disputes team, with Player serving as joint head of the practice.

They will join partner Tom Sprange, who moved from Steptoe & Johnson in 2011, in King & Spalding’s London litigation practice and bring the total number of partners in the office to 15.

Following the partners’ departure, Bird & Bird partner Vonnick le Guillou, who shared the international dispute teams leadership role with Player, will become sole head of the practice. Partner Ludovic de Walden will continue as UK head.

Both Player and Walker were at DLA Piper before joining Bird & Bird in 2002 and 2005, respectively.

In a statement, King & Spalding’s joint London managing partner Garry Pegg, said: “Jane and Sarah are not only highly respected lawyers within their fields but they also share the same values and aspirations that are at the heart of our firm’s culture.

“I’m really looking forward to working with them as we continue to expand and diversify in London.”

In February, King & Spalding posted its financial results for 2011 and showed a 9 per cent rise in turnover (up from $718m to $781m) and a 12 per cent jump in average profit per equity partner (from $1.73m to $1.93m) (10 February 2012).