Theodore Goddard is attacking the insolvency market with the hire of Bevan Ashford's head of insolvency and corporate recovery.
Louise Wilkinson has moved to London to lead Theodore Goddard's insolvency practice as a partner in the firm's banking and projects group.
Her appointment will give Theodore Goddard the personal relationships which its insolvency practice has traditionally lacked.
She takes up the new role this week after leaving Bevan Ashford's Exeter office at the end of September. Her departure coincided with the arrival last month of Layton's former head of insolvency Gordon Bon to build up a Bristol insolvency practice for the firm.
Chairman Nick Jarrett-Kerr had hoped the pair would “hunt as a team and take the South West by storm”. (The Lawyer 11 June 2001).
“It's a credit to Louise that the team is so strong we don't have to rush into replacing her”
Ian Daniells, Bevan Ashford
Wilkinson's departure leaves the Exeter insolvency and corporate recovery team with no partners. Senior associate Paul Caldicott has stepped in as head of the eight-fee-earner unit. The firm is now considering whether to make promotions to partnership in the team and may also look for a lateral hire.
Head of commercial litigation Ian Daniells has overall responsibility for the unit. He said: “Louise did an excellent job in building a team. It's a credit to her that the team is so strong that we don't have to rush into replacing her.
“Naturally it's disappointing, but there's no need to panic. Clearly Louise has a very high profile. It may be that ultimately we replace her, but at the moment we are extremely busy. The work keeps coming in.”
Daniells said the timing of Wilkinson's and Bon's moves was coincidental. “Louise had personal reasons for leaving and working in London. Had it not been for that I think she would still be here.”
Daniells said the firm had not lost any clients as a result of the departure.
Wilkinson developed a wide national and international client base since joining Bevan Ashford in 1998. She advises on contentious and non-contentious matters, including corporate restructure and recovery work for banks. She also works on insolvency practitioner and accountant referrals.
Theodore Goddard's managing partner Peter Cooke said: “We have for some time been seeking to strengthen our insolvency capability. I am delighted that Louise Wilk-inson has accepted our offer to join us as a partner and head of our insolvency group. She has a lot of links with insolvency practitioners and she is a very energetic person.”
As the only pure insolvency partner she adds a new dimension to the group. Insolvency was previously headed by Julian Maples who focuses on corporate restructuring and other types of banking work.
“Louise's function is to be at the centre of the practice and pull all of that together,” said Cooke.