White & Case capital markets in disarray over European strategy

White & Case’s London capital markets group is in a state of turmoil after the partner charged with restructuring the European practice has quit after just six months at the firm.

The departure of former Linklaters capital markets expert Lee Parker coincides with a change in management within the London group. Partner David Barwise has been appointed to head the practice after co-heads Rachel Hatfield and Francis Fitzherbert-Brockholes stepped down.

It is understood that Parker was brought into White & Case in November last year to oversee the integration of capital markets across Europe.

However, sources state that Parker’s role was never clearly defined to the rest of the partnership once he joined the firm.

Subsequently, in mid-May, Hatfield and Fitzherbert-Brockholes offered to step aside, allowing Parker to head up the London capital markets group. It is believed that Parker turned down
the role.

At an offsite meeting for the London capital markets group over a fortnight ago, the decision was then made for the practice to be run with a ‘rotational’ management. Barwise, also formerly with Linklaters, will assume the role for a period, which is understood to be one financial year.

Parker is the second departure to hit White & Case’s London capital markets group in as many months. In May, highly rated partner Ian Clark left for Latham & Watkins.

Parker declined to comment on his departure other than to confirm that he is leaving at the end of this month.

Barwise said: “We wish Lee good fortune in the future and we’d like to thank him for the valued contribution he has made to the capital markets practice.”