Clyde & Co mulls Sedgwick hires to bolster West Coast footprint

Clyde & Co is in talks to hire several lawyers from Sedgwick ahead of the beleaguered US firm’s closure early next year to expand its US presence.

Sedgwick insurance litigation partners Bruce Celebrezze and Alexander Potente are touted to join the firm, though no official hire has been confirmed.

It is thought that the firm will not be looking to drastically increase its US presence across the country, but is focusing largely on its strength in California.

Clydes currently has three Californian offices in Long Beach, Los Angeles and San Francisco. It is understood that any hires from the US firm would be brought in to bolster these offices, rather than its six other locations on the East Coast and in the Midwest.

A spokesperson for Clydes said: “We are sorry to hear the news of Sedgwick’s closure. We know many of its lawyers and hold them in high regard. In line with our own growth potential in the US, we are in advanced discussions with  a number of its insurance partners, predominantly in California, about the possibility of them joining us.

“It would not be appropriate to comment further while discussions are ongoing.”

The US firm recently announced that it would be closing its doors after a string of departures to Kennedys, notably in its New York, Chicago and Bermuda offices.

RPC also picked up a pair of partners from Sedgwick last month. Naomi Vary and Karen Morrish will join RPC in the firm’s London office.

The decision to cease operations affects a total of 150 lawyers, including 80 partners, across its 11 offices. While primarily based in the US, it does have one London office headed by insurance and reinsurance partner Edward Smerdon. He is also an at-large member of the firm’s executive committee.