Clifford Chance to recruit former UBS global counsel

Clifford Chance is poised to take on the former global general counsel of UBS Warburg Dillon Read. Mark Harding is planning a return to the firm he left in 1996, when he decided to join the investment banking arm of UBS.

He walked out of the bank in July, saying he was taking several months off and seriously considering a move back to private practice (The Lawyer, 3 July).

Clifford Chance partners will vote this week on his return. He practised at the firm for 16 years, during which time he headed the international financial markets group, specialising in clearing, settlement, derivatives and regulation.

At UBS, Harding was managing a team of 250, and was both European and global general counsel. He was replaced as global general counsel by Bob Dinerstein, the then general counsel for the US.

As to his departure, Harding blamed the fact that management had overtaken legal work, and he also blamed “politicking”, which he claimed to have had to contend with after the merger of UBS and Swiss Bank Corporation two years ago.

Both Harding and Clifford Chance declined to comment.