Barlow Lyde & Gilbert (BLG) regulatory partner Ian Mason has quit the firm for Baker & McKenzie in a move that will strike a blow to BLG’s new management line-up.
Mason joined BLG in 2006 from the FSA, where he headed the wholesale group of the enforcement division for two of his six years with the regulator.
He was the second regulatory partner to join BLG following Chris Warren-Smith, who has since left to join Fulbright & Jaworski (The Lawyer, 17 August 2007).
BLG has suffered a string of departures in recent years, most recently parting company with chief executive Clint Evans, who was replaced by chief operating officer David Jabbari. The latter joined the firm from Allen & Overy in October 2008 (The Lawyer, 20 October 2008).
The aim of the management shake-up, sources said, was to enable BLG to reinvent itself and stem the partner losses.
One source said: “Ian was a good hire. He gets a lot of profile and he was a great acquisition for the firm. This isn’t good news – it doesn’t bode well for the new management.”
BLG insisted that the financial services practice “remains a key strategic priority” and said it would be “unaffected by Ian’s departure”.
The firm created a specialist financial services practice in November headed by litigator Tim Strong, which brings together lawyers who specialise in dispute resolution, regulatory and employment work.
BLG and Bakers are in negotiations over Mason’s start date.