Ex-Herbert Smith partners to join niche shipping practice Curtis Davis Garrard

FORMER Herbert Smith shipping partners Charles Baker and Mike Allen are joining specialist shipping, offshore and energy firm Curtis Davis Garrard.

Baker and Allen were asked to resign at the end of last year (The Lawyer 8 December), when Herbert Smith decided to close its shipping department.

The City-based firm closed the department to concentrate on litigation, consolidating its corporate practice and increasing the size of its international arbitration service.

Meanwhile, Berrymans Lace Mawer is due to axe its yachting department in the next few months.

The two-partner team is set to join Hill Dickinson as part of the firm's shipping team.

Ken Thwaites, one of the two partners in the department, says: “Hill Dickinson has more of a shipping background, and is also keen to expand it further in London.”

The yachting department joined Berrymans two years ago from a small specialist shipping firm Ingledew Brown Bennison & Garrett.

Thwaites, a shipping partner for 23 years, tells The Lawyer that he is “unable to comment further as to why things did not work out”.

Paul Taylor, senior partner at Berrymans, says: “We are sorry that it has not worked on either side” and adds that “Berrymans is changing the direction of the shipping department, taking on a former master mariner to add to our marine practice”.