BLP hires trio of partners to litigation group

BLP has brought in a trio of new partners in London and Singapore as the firm looks to build its litigation and corporate risk practice.

George Burn and Richard Chalk join the firm’s London office as head of international arbitration and international disputes and regulation partner respectively.

Burn joins the firm from Vinson & Elkins where he was an international arbitration partner and was previously a partner at legacy Salans before it merged with Dentons.

Chalk announced his retirement from Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer in 2016 after spending 22 years with the firm. He has acted for the Brunei Investment Agency, Ageas Insurance Company Asia and as sole arbitrator for the International Chamber Commerce in a shipping dispute.

Gavin Margetson joins the firm’s Singapore office as regional head of international arbitration from Herbert Smith Freehills (HSF). He spent his entire career with HSF in several of its Asia Pacific offices and was head of dispute resolution in its Bangkok office.

Partner James Clarke has relocated from the firm’s London office and has joined Margetson in Singapore.

The firm completed a strategic review of its litigation and corporate risk practice in May focused on a growing international client base and greater number of secondments.

Global head of litigation and corporate resolution Nathan Wilmott said: “The strategy review was an important milestone for us as a department. With so many of the team involved, it’s meant our future really is a collective effort.

“These hires all demonstrate our intent to get on with the job and start delivering on a global scale.”

David Keers recently joined as the firm’s first chief operating officer and Nick Pryor was named head of litigation and corporate resolution client technology earlier this year as a result of the review.

While the new hires strengthen this practice, BLP has seen several partners leave in the last year. Most recently, the firm lost a pair to Pinsent Masons in its equity capital markets practice – Julian Stanier and Gareth Jones.

BLP also announced an 8 per cent drop in average profit per equity partner for the 2016/17 financial year.