US firm re-recruits partners to beef up private client practice

US FIRM Bryan Cave's London office has hired two partners from US firm Brown & Wood to expand its private client base.

Bryan Cave re-recruited Richard Cassell and Dyke Davies who have already worked for the firm once before this month as partners to join what partner, Joe Field, claims is the 'largest US-based private client specialist in London'.

Both Davies and Cassell left Bryan Cave for Brown & Wood, which practices both English and US law, in 1992 after four and five years respectively at the firm, and re-joined together specifically to focus on their private client law practice.

Bryan Cave claims to be expanding its private client base at a time when other US firms in London are downsizing that side of their practices.

The firm's three partners and US counsel Astrid Owen run the private client base, while the firm's fourth partner Paul Hauser handles the firm's tax and accounting practice.

Field said the firm's expansion was occurring at 'the tail-end' of the recent boom in business for London-based US law firms, adding that specialisation was the key to survival.

The firm will expand again in the next few months by adding another four assistants to the department, but there are no plans to join forces with other firms although Field said that Bryan Cave has close links with several English law practices.

Brown & Wood partner Christopher Mead said the split had been 'amicable', as 'their practice was somewhat of a diversification from our core business', and that the firm would now be downsizing its private client department.