The firm has also appointed a new head of commercial litigation in Sheffield, taken from DLA.
Sue Ashtiany will take on the new role of London employment head. Until now the London practice has been managed on a remote basis by Sheffield-based employment head Keith Pugh.
Nabarros managing partner Nicole Paradise says: "It's very difficult to manage from Sheffield to London and vice versa. If something happens you need someone on the ground in both offices."
Ashtiany was instrumental in building up Morgan Cole's specialist employment discrimination practice across Thames Valley, London and South Wales. She joined Cole & Cole in 1984 and became a partner in 1989, a year after the firm merged to become Morgan Cole. Ashtiany was based at Morgan Cole's Oxford office. South Wales-based employment partner Anthony Rees will step into Ashtiany's role, while Wendy Leydon will head the Oxford practice.
Paradise says the hire is part of a strategy to strengthen Nabarros' employment and industrial relations practices to complement its reputation in pensions. The hire will give Nabarros four employment partners, divided equally between London and Sheffield.
Ashtiany says: "Legal regulation of employment relationships has crept right to the heart of corporate decision making. Nabarro Nathanson has precisely the infrastructure and client base on which to build further what is already a very strong team with considerable expertise."
Bleddyn Rees, director of Morgan Cole's business services division, says that the firm has remained committed to its employment practice.
The London hire comes as commercial litigator Gerard Khoshnaw joins Nabarros in Sheffield after seven years as a partner with DLA in Manchester, Sheffield and Leeds. Khoshnaw specialises in commercial and contractual disputes in the food, engineering, chemical, construction, property, education and sports industries. Khoshnaw has been appointed to the sports dispute resolution panel.