Kilpatrick offloads London litigation head and hires Vinson arbitration ace in refocus

The London office of Kilpatrick Stockton has managed out another partner while at the same time making its first lateral partner hire since it began a massive downsizing operation in the City.

The London office of Kilpatrick Stockton has managed out another partner while at the same time making its first lateral partner hire since it began a massive downsizing operation in the City.

Vinson & Elkins arbitration partner Stephen York has quit the Texas-based firm to join Kilpatrick’s London office.

York is Kilpatrick’s first lateral hire since a downsizing operation launched in September cut fee-earners from more than 40 to the current 12.

York’s move comes hot on the heels of Vinson’s announcement that international dispute resolution co-chair Jim Loftis is to be based permanently in the capital. Vinson London managing partner Jeff Eldredge said the firm remained committed to building its London-based arbitration practice. “It’s too bad it didn’t work out with Stephen,” he said.

Meanwhile, Kilpatrick litigation head Patricia Martin quit to set up her own practice, Field Martin Solicitors, earlier this month, operating out of her Sevenoaks home.

“Kilpatrick have said they wanted to refocus their practice to marry with what they did in the US and they didn’t think my commodities-based and general litigation practice fitted with what they wanted to do,” Martin told The Lawyer. “They suggested I look elsewhere. 
“It was an amicable parting in the end and I’m happy to say I’m now experiencing the joy of being self-contained.”

Litigation associate Daniel Astaire also quit to work with Martin.

As first reported on (21 September), the Atlanta-based firm entered redundancy negotiations with the majority of its London staff in a bid to drastically downsize and refocus the office in the image of its US practice by the 2005 year-end.

The departure of Martin follows that of litigation partner Marko Kraljevic earlier this year to the London office of Halliwells.