Norton Rose lures Links employment specialist

Norton Rose has hired Linklaters employment partner Catrina Smith, ­filling the gap left by the departure of former ­practice head Peter Talibart.

Smith has a contentious and non-contentious beat that covers corporate deals, discrimination and collective labour law. While at Linklaters she advised on files including the insolvencies of Lehman Brothers and Woolworths.

Norton Rose has not bulked up the London practice since Talibart defected to US firm Seyfarth Shaw in December 2010 to launch its London office and made up no new employment partners in this year’s ­promotions round.

It did, however, hire ­partner Laure Joncour from Simmons & Simmons in Paris as head of its French employment practice in the spring.

Norton Rose London employment head Paul ­Griffin said: “Catrina’s ­experience is a perfect mix for us of transactional, ­advisory and contentious. She’s had lead roles on a number of high-profile and challenging transactions.”

Litigation and dispute resolution head Deirdre Walker praised Smith’s record in employment disputes.

“She’ll be a real asset for our practice and Catrina’s hire is part of an overall strategy of increasing our strength in employment and labour law internationally,” added Walker.