White & Case in recruitment drive

THE LONDON office of US firm White & Case is gearing up to provide a full English law practice across its international financial sectors.

UK lawyers of all levels from the big City firms who specialise in litigation, arbitration, international project finance and construction are likely to be in demand in the immediate future.

While the six-partner London office currently has 14 fee-earners, the firm has enough space for 40 lawyers.

It should reach that number through recruitment in “the medium term”, says Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes, the firm's London office administration partner.

“We have always known that in order to be an effective international firm, one needs to have an English law capacity,” says Fitzherbert-Brockholes.

“Our objective is to be able to provide a full English service in our core practice areas, corporate law, and financial in its broadest sense including capital markets, banking, and project finance,” he says.

The expansion is part of a long-term strategy but it is picking up a head of steam following the recruitment two months ago of construction and arbitration specialist John Bellhouse, then head of McKenna & Co's Hong Kong office.

Bellhouse's appointment is a key part of the strategy and is likely to be given increasing numbers of new lawyers to deal with the areas he covers – construction, arbitration, and construction-related project finance.

White & Case is a major New York-based partnership and, with 27 offices worldwide, has one of the biggest international networks.

Its London strategy is similar to other US firms. Only two weeks ago The Lawyer revealed that Couderts Brothers is poised to recruit City partners and assistants to its funds, structured and project finance departments.