DLA in heavyweight hire for finance rejig

DLA Piper has hired ­former Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer finance chief Bob Charlton to oversee a shake- up of the international finance and projects (F&P) ­department.

Andrew Darwin

Andrew Darwin

Charlton will run the F&P group in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (Emea).

He replaces Vienna-based former Emea head Stefan Eder, who will return to practice.

Charlton was London head of finance at Freshfields between 2005 and 2007, during which time he, along with global finance chief Perry Noble, spearheaded a firmwide internal restructuring that led to the loss of up to 100 equity ­partners.

He left the firm in April this year after a spell ­running the finance ­practice in the Middle East.

“I have an opportunity, which I feel very privileged to have been given, to shape [the DLA Piper] finance practice,”explained ­Charlton. “I’ve got to get in here and see what the strengths and weaknesses are and to see what ­differentiates the practice.”

It is understood that DLA Piper is keen to refocus the practice on key clients such as Barclays, Lloyds TSB and RBS, as well as on key areas of strength.

UK head of finance and projects Michael Burton will report to Charlton.

DLA Piper managing director for Europe Andrew Darwin commented: “Bob’s extremely well suited to this role as he has the right combination of leadership skills and international experience to help us realise our future plans for the practice.

“These are very challenging times, but I believe we have a strong team and can realise our potential in the changing market.”