Hill Dickinson loses Sheffield partner but picks up fraud specialist in Manchester

Hill Dickinson’s Sheffield head of commercial litigation Giles Searby is set to leave the firm in favour of local outfit HLW Keeble Hawson, but the firm is bolstering its Manchester fraud team with a hire from Keoghs.

Hill Dickinson’s Sheffield head of commercial litigation Giles Searby will take up a new position at Yorkshire commercial firm HLW Keeble Hawson as a partner at the beginning of October.

Searby joined Hill Dickinson in Sheffield as a partner in 2010, when the firm acquired Halliwell’s Liverpool and Sheffield offices (21 July 2010). He focuses on manufacturing, IT and international trade disputes.

Searby said: “The majority of my client base is Sheffield city-based and I feel the need to be in a firm where the Sheffield region is the focus.”

Hill Dickinson also bolstered its Sheffield office with the acquisition of DLA Piper’s defendant insurance practice in January (28 January 2013). However two partners and two support staff in Sheffield were affected by the firm’s recent redundancy consultation, which resulted in a total of 83 job losses (30 July 2013) and the acquisition of the Chester office by private-equity backed Knights Solicitors (29 July 2013).

HLW Keeble Hawson was formed in October 2011 when Yorkshire firms Keeble Hawson and HLW Commercial Lawyers merged (29 July 2011).

Meanwhile, after 15 years at Keoghs complex fraud director Stratos Gatzouris has joined Hill Dickinson’s fraud unit in Manchester.

Hill Dickinson’s head of fraud Peter Oakes welcomed the addition of Gatzouris’ “technical expertise and strategic advice, combined with his exceptional business development skills and powerful network of industry contacts”.

Commenting on his move, Gatzouris outlined his ambition for Hill Dickinson to become a market leader in “all things ‘insurance fraud’”.

At the end of last year Clyde & Co’s Manchester fraud head Damian Ward and a team of 17 joined Keoghs (19 November 2012).