Shearman scoops Freshfields former disputes head

Shearman & Sterling has swooped on Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer to hire the firm’s former co-head of dispute resolution and Lloyd’s of London relationship partner Jo Rickard.

Rickard resigned from Freshfields partnership on Friday (8 Sept), following a vote by Shearman’s partnership Thursday evening. She will join the London office on 1 November (CHECK).

Speculation over Rickard’s future has been rife since it was revealed that 30 partners were taking advantage of the favourable terms offered by Freshfields before it introduces changes to its pension scheme.

It is understood that she has also been in discussions with several other US firms in the City, including Latham & Watkins and Weil Gotshal & Manges.

A partner at Freshfields since 1981, Rickard was co-head of the magic circle firm’s dispute resolution practice until 1 January 2006, when she was replaced by Ian Terry as part of a management reshuffle undertaken by new senior partner Guy Morton.

She was also a key relationship partner for Lloyd’s of London, having been seconded to the specialist insurance market for nearly two years as director of legal services during its reconstruction and renewal in 1996.

As revealed on www.thelawyer.com (4 Sept), four other Freshfields partners have also announced plans to retire from its partnership and join LeBoeuf Lamb Greene & MacRae on 1 November to lock in their entitlement to the firm’s old pensions package.