Orrick senior associate Carl Winkworth joins as a partner and head of the London office, while Orrick senior associate Louisa Watt also joins the new venture.
Richard Spears is a niche distressed debt, corporate and securities litigation firm. Its main clients are hedge funds and investment banks.
"The US distressed debt market is quite mature, so our clients are looking to Western Europe for investment opportunities," said Winkworth.
The firm is planning to recruit around 10 lawyers over the next 12 months.
"The philosophy in New York applies to London and Washington. Richard Spears will not be everything to everybody. We don't have real estate lawyers and we never will. Within our niche, we want to be the best," said New York partner Larry Halperin.