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06 October 2020

DAC Beachcroft builds in Belfast with five-partner hire from BLM

Insurance firm nearly doubles office partner count as it also secures a London fraud specialist

By Ben Rigby

View of Belfast

Belfast Shutterstock; Maciek Grabowicz

DAC Beachcroft has hired five insurance partners from BLM in Belfast while also securing a London commercial litigation partner from K&L Gates.

The Belfast team – Peter Campbell, Fintan Canavan, Alison Cassidy, Paul McAllister and Aine Tyrell – have broad-based disputes practices spanning business and public sector insurance and individual consumer-related claims.

They are joining DAC Beachcroft with three other staff a year-and-a-half after it launched in Belfast with the takeover of insurance boutique McKinty and Wright

Belfast office heard Sean McGahan said: “We have made no secret of our ambitious plans to grow our presence and capabilities quickly in Belfast.  Just a year after our launch, we have doubled our partners from six to twelve and expanded our reach in Belfast into new areas.”

Meanwhile, joining DAC Beachcroft’s London office, is K&L Gates partner Clarissa Coleman. Coleman makes the move after a stint of nearly four years at the US firm, having previously been a partner at Addleshaw Goddard. 

Her experience includes two years on secondment from Addleshaws as deputy general counsel at natural resources company ENRC, which has been under investigation by the Serious Fraud Office (SFO) since April 2013 for alleged fraud, bribery and corruption around the acquisition of substantial mineral assets; claims it strongly denies.

She also spent two years from 2009 - 2011 as a senior litigation counsel at Vincent Tchenguiz’s Consensus Business group when it was subject to an investigation by the SFO that was discontinued.  She advised on the settling of subsequent litigation between the SFO and Tchenguiz. 

Of particular note is Coleman’s private equity and shareholder disputes practice given the prospect of pandemic-era claims starting to emerge.

John Bramhall, DAC Beachcroft’s head of commercial litigation, said praised her track record adding that she had “managed high-profile cases concerning multi-million-pound disputes, large fraud investigations, and international asset tracing”.

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