Field Fisher hires Wedlake Bell corporate chief

Field Fisher Waterhouse (FFW) has hired Wedlake Bell corporate partner and practice head Tim Bird.

Bird had been a partner at the West End firm since 2007, when he joined from Dechert (30 April 2007). He was previously in-house in Deutsche Bank’s stockbroking team and joined FFW at the end of last week.

Wedlake Bell is currently preparing for a merger with Cumberland Ellis, with the combination set to go live on 1 April (1 February 2012).

Bird, who joins as a partner, advises on M&A, equity capital markets, private equity and venture capital, with a focus on energy, natural resources and technology. As well as being head of corporate at Wedlake Bell, Bird served on the firm’s board. He resigned from the firm in September and has been on gardening leave until now.

FFW corporate head Andrew Blankfield said: “Growing the firm’s corporate capability is key to our strategy so Tim’s expertise in equity capital markets, M&A and private equity will be a significant asset to the practice. His sector focus also has good synergies with the corporate team’s strengths in TMT and energy and natural resources.”

The hire follows the recruitment of Olswang consultant Michael Harte as a partner in the corporate and commercial practice (1 November 2011).

A number of partners have left the firm in the past year, with recent exits including corporate partner Neil Foster, who has joined Baker Botts (23 September 2011).

The firm completed a wide-ranging constitutional review last month that resulted in major changes to the way it is run (19 January 2012).