Richards Butler hit by Latham raid on litigation

Richards Butler’s litigation group has been rocked by the loss of a second rainmaker in the space of two months.

Disputes partner John Hull is leaving the firm in February to head the London litigation practice of US giant Latham & Watkins. His departure coincides with that of Lista Cannon, who is joining another US firm, Fulbright & Jaworski.

“It’s all part of our strategy of taking top talent and building the platform out across Europe,” said Latham London managing partner David Miles.

In 2003 Latham poached Bernd Schmitz and his seven-lawyer team from Clifford Chance’s Frankfurt office, as well as name partner Patrick Dunaud and his nine-lawyer team from French boutique Sokolow Dunaud Mercadier & Carreras.

The recruitment of Hull completes a two-year search for the right person to lead Latham’s litigation department in London.

“Litigation for us is a new practice area and it’s one that we started developing gently a year ago. This completes our search for a top-quality person to lead it,” said Miles.

Hull’s practice has focused on advising European banks on mutual funds disputes, often in offshore jurisdictions such as the Bahamas and the Cayman Islands.

Richards Butler managing partner Roger Parker said that he was sorry to see Hull go but wished him well.