Latham scoops Ashurst partner for City corporate push

Latham & Watkins has bolstered its London corporate group with the capture of private equity specialist Graeme Ward from Ashurst.

Ward, who is expected to start at the US firm next month, was managing partner at Ashurst’s Frankfurt office between 1997 and 2000 and was subsequently head of the firm’s German business group in London.

Latham London managing partner Andrew Moyle said in a statement: “Graeme is a very talented lawyer, whose deep technical skills and strategic thinking add further distinction to our corporate practice. Graeme’s arrival marks another significant milestone in the advancement of our English law capability.”

The hire, which brings Latham’s London corporate headcount to 23 partners, will be seen a timely fillip for Latham after last week’s news that four partners had left the firm in the US.

New York M&A partner David Schwartzbaum left to join rival Greenberg Traurig (The Lawyer, 7 January), while a trio of IP litigators also found new homes. San Diego partner Kenneth Fitzgerald left to become name partner at litigation boutique Chapin Fitzgerald Sullivan, and Paris partners Emmanuel Baud and Jean-Christophe Tristant left for Jones Day and Allen & Overy respectively.

There was better news last week when the firm announced that it would be unfreezing salaries – becoming the first major firm to do so post-recession.