Buchanans woos Eversheds’ Halliday

Buchanan Ingersoll is continuing its aggressive City recruitment drive by hiring Eversheds‘ former head of international banking.

The US firm’s London office has taken on David Halliday to head its European banking practice.

Halliday announced earlier this year that he was quitting Eversheds without a new firm to go to. The national firm has yet to find a replacement for him. Fellow senior banking partner Robin Parsons quit at the same time for Sidley & Austin.

Halliday had been with Eversheds since only 1996, when he joined from Berwin Leighton. He was brought on board to develop the non-contentious banking side of the practice.

Buchanans and Halliday were in talks for two months although London managing partner Barry Francis confirms there was no offer on the table at the time of Halliday’s departure from Eversheds.

Halliday’s appointment comes two months after Buchanans recruited one of H2O’s founding partners and media and intellectual property practitioner Michael Henry (The Lawyer, 14 August).

It then hired corporate tax specialist Jenny Cottrell as a part-time partner from Rowe & Maw. Her remit is to launch a practice servicing US law firms (The Lawyer, 4 September).

The office now has 24 fee-earners, of which 11 are partners. The banking group consists of four partners including Halliday, although all of them except Halliday also work in other finance-related areas.

Michael Park was one of the original tranche of lawyers from Beachcroft Wansbroughs who set up the office (The Lawyer, 11 November). He also practises project finance.

Fellow banking partners Rupert Jones and Jonathan Griffiths joined shortly after from the now defunct London office of US firm Sonnenschein Nath & Rosenthal. They also practise property finance and corporate finance respectively.

Francis says the firm deliberately recruited at senior level first. During the next year it aims to appoint between two and six assistants into the group.

He adds that the London office’s next target area will be technology. “We will be recruiting in IT, both on the outsourcing side and in general support. It complements the corporate finance work we already do for technology companies,” he says.

Buchanans aims to bring the number of lawyers in London up to 50 in the next three years. But it will focus on partner-level recruits before bolstering the number of assistants.

Halliday says that Buchanans’ focus on project finance and high-tech, as well as the remit to expand the European banking and finance practice, are the main factors in his decision to join.

Within his practice area, Halliday specialises in a range of areas including project, asset and trade finance, leasing, derivatives, bank lending and business regeneration.