Clausen raids UK ally Hextalls to launch own London office

Chicago firm takes three partners from associated firm; relationship will continue

Chicago firm Clausen Miller has raided its associated UK firm Hextall Erskine to launch its own London office.
Three partners from the niche insurance firm, including one of its highest earners, have left to set up the London office.
John Startin joined Hextalls 21 years ago and is believed to be one of the firm's biggest financial hitters. He is joined by Nigel Plant and Jane Beacham, who have each been at Hextalls for around 10 years, and an assistant. Stratin said Clausen's new office arises out of the need to service its globalised insurance operations.
The hires come after a long period of association, including work referrals, between Hextalls and Clausen. Hextalls said it would continue a “close relationship” with Clausen's London partners.
Hextalls has suffered a series of partner losses in recent years. In April last year, its head of insurance and reinsurance Bill Jarvis joined City practice Elborne Mitchell. This followed the departure of leading professional indemnity lawyer Stuart White and fellow partner Davina Haydon, who joined Reynolds Porter Chamberlain. Alternative dispute resolution partner Anna Dalglish also left the firm, but it is understood that she subsequently ceased to practice.
At the time a source at the firm associated the departures with declining profits in the past two years. The firm refused to discuss profitability as The Lawyer went to press.
Hextalls has diversified beyond its core areas of personal injury insurance and reinsurance and there are now 11 partners in this field within a total partnership of 17.
In April it set up a two-partner employment group headed by partner Anne Lumsden, while its two private client and corporate partners were joined six months earlier by three corporate property, private client and corporate partners from Sussex firm Castle & Co, which Hextalls took over.