Dickinson Dees poaches Arthur Andersen team

Newcastle firm Dickinson Dees has poached a senior financial planning team from Arthur Andersen to bolster its private client practice.

The move has forced the top five accountant to review its regional management structure.

The five-strong team will join Dickinson Dees' private client practice. It is led by David Dale, who headed Andersen's financial planning team at its northern practice.

Dickinson Dees hopes the appointments will boost its private client practice, which has nearly 50 fee earners.

The team will offer in-house financial advice to clients on topics including investment management, trust and tax planning and wealth protection.

Dale believes it is the first time a whole team has been poached from a top accounting firm. He says: “Law firms do have financial advisers but they have never previously taken teams from large accountants.”

George Lyall, head of Dickinson Dees' private client services group, says: “Clients increasingly look for advice which is co-ordinated and integrated.

“This is as close as you can get to a one-stop shop for asset protection and wealth management services.”

Julia Barltrop, Andrew Weaver, Nicola Lewis and Simon Dobson, a senior consultant, join the firm with Dale.

John Flynn, the partner in charge of business development at Dickinson Dees, tells The Lawyer: “The opportunity arose because there was dissatisfaction with the way Arthur Andersen was going and the team was looking for a place to come. Having reviewed all their options, they chose here. It is a very good platform for their operation.”

Following the departure of Dale and his team, Andersen's has promoted Philip Platts, head of private finance at its Midland practice, to overall head of the north east.

A spokeswoman says: “Following a planning review of the team's regional management structure, senior financial and investment planning specialist Philip Platts now heads up private client services across the north east.”

She plays down the departures, saying: “The Leeds and Newcastle private client service team has been successful in achieving significant growth over the past few years. With one exception, the people who have left were relatively junior members of the team.”