Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) has raided shipping boutique Thomas Cooper for marine partner Drew James.

James, who leaves Thomas Cooper after only one year, will join BLG’s Singapore office as part of the firm’s strategy to build its presence in the region.

Richard Dedman, BLG senior partner, said: “Drew is a very exciting hire and will help our plans to grow the firm’s commercial litigation and arbitration practice across the Asia-Pacific region, in which his reputation is outstanding.”

He will work alongside Singapore reinsurance chief Yvonne Jefferies and will soon be joined by London partner Mert Hifzi who is relocating to Singapore.

James’ practice will continue to focus on commercial dispute resolution including international arbitration and mediation.

Nigel Wagland, BLG head of marine, energy and trade, added: “With his appointment we can offer a further dimension in our international service.”