Norton Rose, Bird & Bird swoop for Hammonds practice heads

Bird & Bird and Norton Rose are the latest firms to profit from Hammonds’ woes after rated sports head Jonathan Taylor joined the technology, media and telecommunications firm and head of environment Caroline May quit for Norton Rose.

May replaces Brian Greenwood as Norton Rose’s environment head after he left for Taylor Wessing earlier this year.

Norton Rose London real estate head Peter Burrows said: “We’re delighted to have Caroline joining to head up our planning and environment team. She brings some much-needed expertise, as we’ve not really had the strength we wanted in the product liability and health and safety areas.”

The departures are another blow for Hammonds, which has already lost five equity partners since its 14-month lock-in ended on 30 June. The firm has now lost three of the 10 partners that it “can’t afford to lose”, according to The Lawyer (see ‘The 10 partners Hammonds needs to keep’ analysis, 17 July).

Taylor’s stellar client list includes Fifa, the International Tennis Federation and Chelsea Football Club.

Hammonds managing partner Peter Crossley said: “Jonathan Taylor and Caroline May have resigned from the firm, which I’m sorry about.”

Bird & Bird was unavailable for comment.