Baker & McKenzie commercial litigation partner Tom Cassels is leaving for Linklaters after 21 years at the US firm, The Lawyer can reveal.

Cassels joined Bakers in 1994 as an associate and was made a partner in 2001. His clients have included Shell, mobile phone operator Three and McLaren Mercedes. 


Cassels was named in The Lawyer Hot 100 2013 for his work advising the BBC Trust and his efforts in promoting diversity at Bakers.

While Bakers has hired several litigators recently, including Barclays managing director of litigation and investigations Jonathan Peddie and BBC’s head of litigation Nadia BannoLinklaters rarely recruits at partner level in London.

It took Herbert Smith Freehills arbitration silk Matthew Weiniger QC in July. Prior to that its last major litigation hire was in 2009 when Christa Band joined from legacy Herbert Smith. 

Band joined the magic circle firm to focus on banking, financial services and regulatory litigation after 16 years at Herbert Smith. Prior to Band the last lateral partner hire by the firm was in late 2007 when it picked up Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer finance partner Brian Gray. 

However Linklaters has been on a hiring spree in the US this month, following up its first US lateral in two years with a second in the same week. 

The firm took Bakers New York litigation head Douglas Tween as chief of its US cartel and government investigations practice in October, and hired Margot Schonholtz from Wilkie Farr & Gallagher to head its restructuring and insolvency practice in New York. 

Linklaters named banking chief Gideon Moore as its next global managing partner this week, succeeding Simon Davies who is joining Lloyds Bank.