Cornish to join PW's legal arm

Top commodities lawyer Martin Cornish, the senior partner of MW Cornish Batty & Co, is believed to be poised to join Arnheim & Co, the law firm tied to accountancy firm Price Waterhouse.

Both Cornish and Paul Downing, head of PW's European legal network, would neither confirm nor deny the move but if it goes ahead it will be Arnheims' biggest coup since it opened in March last year.

Cornish is seen as one of the top four futures lawyers in the City. He founded his firm six years ago when he left merchant bank Shearson Lehman Hutton where he was European legal director. Before that he had been a partner at Simmons & Simmons between 1986 and 1988.

His practice merged with the niche banking practice of John Batty four years ago and was joined a month later by the legal director of Invesco MIM Peter Astleford, bringing the practice to a total of four partners. But Batty has since left the firm to set up again as a sole practitioner.

At this stage it is not clear whether Cornish will go alone to Arnheim & Co or bring his whole firm along with him.