FFW snares longstanding Taylor Wessing partner in three-lawyer swoop

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has ratcheted up its City partner recruitment by hiring three lawyers from a trio of firms covering corporate, finance and tax.

David Kent
David Kent

The most eye-catching of the three is longstanding Taylor Wessing corporate partner David Kent, who heads the firm’s inward investment group in the UK and will keep the same title at FFW, joining in mid-September.

Kent, who also specialises in the US market and TMT, has been at Taylor Wessing for 36 years and qualified at the firm, making partner in 1984.

He handles a number of Taylor Wessing’s client relationships for US public and private companies and co-founded its Cambridge office in 2002. He also initiated Taylor Joynson Garrett’s merger discussions with Germany’s Wessing, which went live in 2002, and was co-founder of the firm’s Tech City office in London in 2011.

FFW managing partner Michael Chissick said in a statement: “David’s arrival will be a major step in our campaign to strengthen the firm’s corporate offering in our key geographic and sector markets, which is already bearing fruit. We have acted for many years for companies investing and establishing operations in the UK, and David will help us to take that practice to another level.”

The news follows FFW’s launch of a representative office in Palo Alto last September in a bid to increase its referrals from the US, primarily in TMT (3 September 2012).

Taylor Wessing managing partner Tim Eyles said in a statement: “David has been a much valued colleague for the past 36 years. He has made a great contribution to Taylor Wessing in that time and I would like to personally thank him and wish him all the best.”

At the same time, FFW has taken on Pinsent Masons legal director George Gillham as a partner in its London tax disputes practice after joining Pinsents from Scotland’s McGrigors when the firms merged last year.

The City firm’s third hire is SJ Berwin finance senior associate Robin Spender, who also becomes a partner at FFW after joining SJ Berwin from legacy Denton Wilde Sapte in 2007. In 2008 he spent 10 months on secondment with Barclays Leveraged Finance.

Gillham and Spender both join FFW on 1 July.

The news comes ahead of FFW’s hire of Eversheds equity capital markets head Neil Matthews into its City corporate practice later this summer (7 June 2013).