Dechert returns to DLA for another partner hire

Dechert has hired another partner from DLA Piper as the phoney war between the two firms this week warmed up.

Investigations and compliance partner Duncan Wiggetts, who joined DLA Piper from PricewaterhouseCoopers in May 2009, is understood to have resigned last week.

Wiggetts’ start date at Dechert, where he will join former DLA Piper partners Neil Gerrard and Jonathan Pickworth, is still being determined.

Dechert did not comment on Wiggetts’ hire while a spokesman for DLA Piper said, “we wish Duncan the very best of luck”.

Dechert hired Gerrard and Pickworth, DLA Piper’s joint global head of litigation and EMEA head of corporate crime and investigations respectively, in April.

Gerrard’s exit in particular has led to a dispute with his former firm over the terms of his departure, with Herbert Smith now acting for the former DLA Piper partner and Stephenson Harwood litigation head John Fordham advising DLA Piper (30 September 2011).

Earlier this week the dispute appeared to hot up when a one-page writ of summons was filed in the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas confirming that Dechert is now suing DLA Piper.

Neither firm would comment on the writ, but it is believed to be directly related to the exit of Gerrard, who continues to be listed as a DLA Piper partner.