Vizard Oldham woos leading niche firms

London firm Vizard Oldham is merging with two leading niche firms to boost its professional indemnity and property practices.

The firm, which was formed out of the split of Vizards in May last year, is swallowing top professional indemnity firm Hartfields and specialist property practice Derek Sendrove & Co.

Vizard Oldham, which now has 25 partners, has a strong insurance and liability litigation practice and acts for insurers including Royal & SunAlliance, Chubb Insurance, St Paul Insurance and Zurich Municipal.

Hartfields is a highly-regarded four-partner professional indemnity firm acting largely for the Lloyd's and London insurance markets. Founding partner David Hartfield is recognised as one of the leading professional negligence lawyers in the City.

He says: “The service which my firm provides to its clients will be enhanced by the infrastructure and strength in depth available from Vizard Oldham's insurance law practice.”

Mark Whittaker, head of Vizard Oldham's insurance litigation practice, says: “Hartfields is a natural fit with our existing insurance litigation practice, and is part of our strategy to develop commercial litigation from the Lloyd's and London insurance markets.”

Hartfields partners Robert John, Emma Kendrick-Jones and James Pollock are all joining Vizard Oldham as partners.

Vizard Oldham already acts for a number of institutional and investment clients in the property sector.

The arrival of Derek Sendrove, who was a senior partner in property at Nabarro Nathanson before setting up his own firm four years ago, will boost that group.

Sendrove says he chose Vizard Oldham because his clients needed a fuller service law firm and he wanted to stay away from the City giants.