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Sidley Austin is preparing to open a London-based insurance practice with a team of four lawyers recruited from DLA Piper Rudnick Gray Cary.
The US firm has hired DLA Piper's head of insurance restructuring and insolvency Nigel Montgomery and a team of three associates for the launch.
James Stinson, co-chair of Sidley's insurance and financial services group, said: "We have a very successful insurance practice in the States and we're increasingly acting for our clients in the UK and Europe."
Sidley's US insurance group has around 60 lawyers in Chicago and New York. Clients include AIG, CNA and investment banks such as JPMorgan, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley.
Eventually, Sidley plans that the London insurance practice will have litigation, capital markets and regulatory capabilities.
Sidley's London office currently has 31 partners and is focused on finance, corporate, tax and restructuring.
The firm opened a new branch in Frankfurt earlier this year.
A spokesperson for DLA Piper confirmed that Montgomery would be leaving the firm.