Clifford Chance splits City corporate group into three

Clifford Chance has shaken up its London ­corporate practice, splitting the group into three sector-based teams.

The reorganisation will see the teams – named ­provisionally as ’One’, ’Alpha’ and ’A’ – focus on particular sectors and territories.

They will not report ­separate financial results or have individual group heads.

Team ’One’ will focus on India, China, oil and gas, restructuring and real estate; ’Alpha’ will specialise in infrastructure and private equity; while ’A’ will focus on public M&A and include investment management, consumer goods and retail.

Each group will have eight or nine partners and around 20 associates. ­Associates are expected to be seconded to other teams throughout their careers.

London corporate head Simon Tinkler said the ­decision to split the 24-­partner corporate team was driven by clients’ desire for sector specialisation.

“What we found is that clients like having a ­consistent team and they like people to have expertise around a sector,” Tinkler said. “There’s a general move to be more sector-led, but we don’t want people to become specialised in the type of work they do. Their legal abilities will still be broad but their sector focus will be narrower.”

The corporate team was last restructured only three years ago, when in 2008 three groups merged into one.