Watson Farley & Williams' former Piraeus office head has left the firm to take on a new role as head of Denton Wilde Sapte's ship finance practice in London.
Tony Rice, a highly-rated ship finance and banking lawyer, will take on the new role as partner at Dentons in October. He will coordinate a team of four other asset finance partners. The hire is part of a strategy to focus on Dentons' industry sector strengths in asset finance. The practice will initially focus on the lender sector, working for clients active in Europe, the US, the Middle East and India. Rice specialises in high-value, syndicated and highly-structured transactions. He became head of Watson Farley's Piraeus office in 1990. He focused on Scandinavian, French, UK and US banks, other financial institutions providing debt finance and shipowner borrowers within the Greek and London shipping communities. Lateral hire Jeremy Watson now heads Watson Farley's Piraeus office. Adrian Miles, chairman of Dentons' banking and finance department, said: "We needed to bring the practice together, as we have done in aviation. We wanted someone who gets up in the morning and reads Lloyd's List with breakfast. "The deals are getting bigger and more structured. This is not necessarily a growth market in the short term, but it's certainly a market where our clients are doing more and more work." Rice said: "Having looked at Dentons since the merger, I realised that the firm offers very exciting possibilities in ship finance. It simply needs someone to focus its efforts."