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CITY firm Wilde Sapte has bucked the market trend by taking on a team of US lawyers to run its new Lloyd's office.
Investigative insurance law-yer Adrian Mecz has been recruited as a partner from New York firm Bigham Englar Jones Houston.
Wilde Sapte takes on the US firm's entire London team including litigator Christopher Keegan and a second assistant Michelle Wilson. They are based in Wilde Sapte's new Lloyd's office which opened last week.
The firm has not taken floor space in the Lloyd's headquarters, as many City firms have done, but is based at 40 Lime Street. Insurance partner Peter Schwartz says that Wilde Sapte has clients in the London Underwriting Centre as well as the Lloyd's building and will wait to "see how things pan out". He does not rule out a move to either building at a later stage.
"One reads of US firms coming in with a vengeance trying to recruit teams. What we have done is to swim against the tide and recruit a specialist team from the US," he says.
"It's a consolidation of our expertise in the area. We have been doing banking and financial risk for some time but Adrian is one of the market leaders on the investigative side and that's a significant extension of areas we have been covering."
Mecz, who has been based in London for more than 12 years, says that one of the advantages of joining a UK firm is the greater support.
"When the opportunity arose, it seemed to make sense," he says.