Norton Rose boosts City insurance disputes with CMS’s O’Connell

CMS Cameron McKenna regulatory and disputes head Liam O’Connell is set to join Norton Rose as a partner in its insurance litigation practice.

O’Connell, who focuses on domestic and international insurance disputes and policy coverage analysis, has been a CMS partner since 2001.

After joining the firm in 1990, O’Connell moved to insurance broker Sedgwick Group as senior legal adviser in 1995, returning to the City firm 1997.

The move follows the hire of insurance litigators Patrick Foss and Chris Zavos from legacy Barlow Lyde & Gilbert last year on the eve of its merger with Clyde & Co (8 October 2011).

It also comes on the back of Norton Rose’s recent recruitment of Bindmans crime head Neil O’May (27 July 2012).

It marks a reverse of the trend this year that has seen a handful of partners leave Norton Rose, most recently City corporate heavywright Julian Stanier, who is set to join Berwin Leighton Paisner (3 September 2012).

Norton Rose litigation and disputes head Deirdre Walker said in a statement: “Contentious insurance is an area of the business that we are committed to grow and develop, and one which is being driven by the calibre of our clients. Liam’s arrival significantly boosts our ambitions. He brings with him a huge amount of experience in insurance disputes which will complement our existing expertise in this area.”

Financial institutions group head James Bateson added: “Liam is a leading name in the insurance market. He will strengthen our non-marine claims practice, an area we have targeted for substantial growth, and help us to build a strong reputation as a claims firm to complement our market-leading brand in non-contentious work in London.”