Dentons nuclear star resigns

Dentons nuclear specialist Rupert Cowen has left the firm, with his destination yet unknown.

Cowen was removed from Dentons’ UK, Middle East and Africa LLP on 31 October and his profile has been taken down from the firm’s website. Dentons confirmed his departure but a spokesperson said they were unable to say where Cowen was going.

Cowen joined legacy SNR Denton in 2010 from legacy Hammonds along with fellow energy partner Jonathan Leech (1 March 2010).

He focuses on the nuclear sector, with a key client being joint venture Nuclear Management Partners (NMP) and consortium member URS Corporation. NMP has been running the Sellafield nuclear site since 2008 and was recently awarded a five-year extension to its contract, under which it is overseeing the decommissioning of the facilities.

Media attention recently focused on the rising cost of the decommissioning, which is now estimated at nearly £70bn.

The news comes as Simmons & Simmons announced the hire of Dentons partner David Risbridger, formerly the head of the firm’s Middle East litigation team (7 November 2013).

Dentons has both lost and hired a number of partners in London since its tripartite merger at the end of March (22 February 2013). In London, partners have left for Bryan Cave (21 August 2013), Vinson & Elkins (15 July 2013) and Stephenson Harwood (1 May 2013).

Meanwhile Dentons has brought on board several lateral hires, including Eversheds banking partner Byron Nurse, Latham & Watkins arbitrator Michelle Bradfield (22 April 2013) and SJ Berwin private equity partner Nicholas Plant (13 May 2013) in London.

The firm is currently in merger talks with US firm McKenna Long & Aldridge. A vote is expected next week (30 October 2013).