Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has taken a second employment partner from McDermott Will & Emery as the firm signals a strategic shift in its areas of focus.

The hire of partner Rebecca Harding-Hill follows that of McDermott’s employment head Fraser Younson, who joined in mid-September to head BLP’s employment pensions and incentives (EPI) team.

The hires come as BLP managing partner Neville Eisenberg outlined the firm’s pledge to boost investment in the litigation, insurance, tax and employment practices.

The move is a change from BLP’s traditional focus on the core ‘three pillars’ approach of real estate, corporate and finance.

“After a few years of growth and investment focused on corporate and finance, we’re expanding that to a variety of other areas, evidenced by our recent lateral hires,” Eisenberg said. “We’ve invested primarily in three areas and we’ve expanded that as a natural progression and made investments in other specialist areas. We’ll continue to demand double-digit growth.”

Harding-Hill focuses on high-end work for financial institutions and major corporations, specialising in age discrimination and employment-related permanent health insurance claims.

Younson said: “The legal framework around employment issues is becoming more complex, with increasing legislative and case law developments from both the UK and the EU.”

BLP’s EPI team now comprises seven partners and counts AON Corporation, Citibank, French Connection, Roche, Tesco and Waterstones as clients.