The six-month-old London office of US firm Weil Gotshal & Manges has broken into UK corporate law by poaching senior associate Andrew Harting from Freshfield's New York office.
Weil Gotshal recruited Clifford Chance banking partner Maurice Allen last year as a first step in building up a UK law practice. From January to March, when the office opened its doors, Allen recruited three partners and seven associates from Clifford Chance; one partner from Merrill Lynch; and one partner from Linklaters & Paines, who was followed by two associates.
Allen and the two US partners also brought on board three Allen & Overy associates, one from Lace Mawer, one from the Chase Manhattan Bank and two associates from Freshfields, including Harting.
Former Allen & Overy tax associate Andrew Norwood, recruited last month, is charged with building up Weil Gotshal's UK taxation practice.
Allen said: “If things keep going the way they are, then its likely that next year we'll be looking at going back into the market for another 10 to 15 lawyers.” A UK lawyer, recruited from Allen & Overy in New York, currently works in Weil's New York office and Allen said the firm was looking at seconding another UK lawyer to the city.