White & Case hires for litigation drive

White & Case‘s London office has launched a three-year programme of expanding its litigation department by hiring Travers Smith Braithwaite partner Alistair Graham.
He replaces Margaret Cole as head of litigation, although they will work together running the department.
Graham has specialist expertise in fraud and financial services work and was recently seconded for six months to the Financial Services Authority as one of its enforcement counsel. He said that he expects White & Case’s litigation department to grow substantially over the next three years and that the focus of the growth will be in the areas of fraud and regulatory matters.
The department currently has 24 fee-earners, of whom three partners are full-time litigators and three partners carry out litigation as part of their intellectual property and construction practices. Cole plans to increase the volume of the department’s arbitration work, and also launch a training scheme for its lawyers to become solicitor-advocates. Currently, none are qualified.
Graham joined Travers 11 years ago and was made a partner three years later. Cole was keen to get him on board after their encounters on the Maxwell litigation in the 1980s when she was at Stephenson Harwood.
All the department’s lawyers are English qualified and Graham wants to continue the focus on English law and arbitrations. Cole is currently engaged in a large arbitration concerning energy privatisation in Hungary and another in Germany, as well as BCCI matters due for trial next year.
Graham said: “It is an exciting opportunity to work as part of an international network that produces a large amount of international litigation in London.”