Simmons rehires partner to staff nascent Bristol office

Simmons & Simmons has convinced a former partner to return to the firm for a second time as it looks to bulk up its Bristol office.

Helen Hancock, who is a consultant at Burges Salmon and the firm’s director of banking, will join Simmons as a partner in Bristol in December. She advises on corporate banking, and property, project and acquisition finance.

Her hire follows that of two Osborne Clarke partners (30 May 2012), who have also joined the firm’s low-cost Bristol office, plans for which were unveiled in April (3 April 2012). The new office opened for business on 24 September.

The move marks Hancock’s second return to the firm. In 1994, while an associate in Simmons’ banking group, she was head-hunted by NatWest Markets to become director of transaction management in London’s Bishopsgate. But Hancock told The Lawyer in an interview in 2000 (22 May 2000) that she missed private practice, and so returned to Simmons as a senior associate in 1995 and was quickly promoted to partner. Hancock almost moved to Bevan Brittan legacy firm Bevan Ashford for family reasons following her first return, but stayed with Simmons after agreeing with management that she could work remotely.

Hancock eventually did leave Simmons for a second time in 2005, and joined Burges Salmon in 2007.

In a statement, Simmons’ head of financial institutions Jonathan Hammond said: ‘‘Helen’s experience in advising on complex banking issues, as well as her experience with clients in the financial institutions sector and corporates, make her an outstanding addition to our international team and I’m pleased to be welcoming her back to the firm.’’

Hancock could not be reached for comment.