A&O’s Watson quits for Dechert

Allen & Overy (A&O) telecoms partner Chris Watson has become the latest partner to leave the magic circle firm.

Watson, who joined A&O as a partner from Simmons & Simmons in 2000, will join Dechert’s competition practice in London at the end of the month. He announced his resignation yesterday (13 February).

Commenting on his departure Watson said: “Dechert has a very good competition practice in the [US] and is a successful firm with a clear strategy of which what I do is an integral part. They have identified the key areas they want to be active in and competition is one of those.”

Watson’s recent experience includes advising the World Bank on the reform of Lebanese telecoms law, the Jordanian Telecommunications Regulatory Commission on the implementation of a new licensing regime and the Office of the Telecommunications Authority in Hong Kong in the drafting of its competition guidelines.

Last year A&O suffered a series of high-profile partner depatures. Finance partner Clive Wells quit the firm to join Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom in December. Meanwhile, heavy-hitting leverage finance partner Tony Keal left A&O in October for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett.