King & Spalding beefs up in London with hire of Mayer Brown’s Charnley

King & Spalding has boosted its London corporate group with the hire of Mayer Brown corporate partner William Charnley.

No date has been given for Charnley joining King & Spalding, but he will leave Mayer Brown in the next two weeks. Mayer Brown has gardening leave provisions written into its partnership deed, but in this case the split was amicable and the provisions were waived.

Charnley will join King & Spalding as a partner in its London corporate team.

Charnley joined Mayer Brown from McDermott Will & Emery in 2007 (17 September 2007). He was London managing partner at McDermott and at one point was one of the firm’s highest billers, pulling in £5.2m (26 February 2001).

Speaking about Charnley’s departure, Mayer Brown’s UK corporate head Peter Dickinson said: “Obviously we’re disappointed that he’s leaving but we’re already in the process of expanding the corporate practice and we’ve made three lateral hires in recent months […] so it’s a case of three steps forward and one step back.”

Charnley’s practice was centred on advising hedge fund, shareholder activist and capital markets clients.

“He’s always had a strong individualistic practice and clients who will, no doubt, work with him at his new home,” said Dickinson, who added that he did not expect the move to affect Mayer Brown’s core clients, mostly large corporates and financial institutions.

As well as being a partner in Mayer Brown’s corporate team, Charnley was responsible along with insurance partner Will Glassey for the firm’s graduate recruitment and training programme – a position he had held since 2009. Mayer Brown’s London banking and finance head Dominic Griffiths has replaced Charnley in this role.

The co-head of King & Spalding’s London office John Keffer said: “William’s our eighth partner hire in the past two years and we welcome not just his expertise but also his wealth of experiences in US offices and we expect him to play a leading role developing our corporate practice outside the United States.”