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05 May 2021

DWF raids DLA Piper and BCLP to boost UK corporate and real estate teams

The five new senior hires will be based across the firm's Leeds and London offices

By Ben Edwards

Leeds Shutterstock

Listed firm DWF has made five senior hires across its UK business, strengthening both its corporate and real estate teams.

The new recruits include former DLA Piper corporate partners Wendy Harrison and Jonathan Procter, as well as corporate partner Alexis Karim, who joins from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. Harrison and Procter are based in Leeds, while Karim is based in London. Meantime, real estate partner Andrew Batterton and legal director Naithan McBride also join from DLA Piper in Leeds. Batterton joins the planning team this month, while McBride will join the global construction team in June.

Speaking about the corporate trio, Frank Shephard, global head of corporate at DWF, said: “As a global practice we continue to be extremely active in significant acquisitions, disposals and private equity transactions and deal flow remains strong. We are always looking to bring talent into the team and Wendy, Jonathan and Alexis, each with their own well-established skillsets and experience, will enable us to further build on this momentum.”

Harrison had been at DLA Piper for more than 30 years, bringing with her vast experience in cross-border M&A deals particularly in the hospitality and leisure sectors. Procter also spent more than 30 years at DLA Piper, leaving the partnership in 2019 to become a senior consultant at the firm. He also has extensive experience in M&A transactions, as well as advising on equity capital markets and corporate governance matters. Karim joined Berwin Leighton Paisner in 2008, a decade before it merged with Bryan Cave. He also previously worked at Osborne Clarke and Ashurst. His practice focuses on private equity and venture capital deals, with a particular emphasis on healthcare and technology.

Batterton spent seven years at DLA Piper, having joined from Squire Sanders where he was a senior associate across its Manchester and Leeds offices. He also previously worked at Dickinson Dees, Addleshaw Goddard and Hammond Suddards, with his practice focusing mainly on planning, infrastructure and compulsory purchases. McBride’s practice, meanwhile, focuses on construction disputes and advising clients on dispute avoidance and managing project risk.

Toby Askin, global head of real estate at DWF, said: “Andrew adds senior leadership and technical capability to a strong and growing team while Naithan’s expertise in dispute resolution will complement our existing offering.”

The firm has made a number of global moves recently to reorganise its business. In March it said it was scaling back its Australian business with the closure of three offices and the expected loss of almost 100 jobs just four years after first launching in the country. Then last month it announced associations with South African firm Thomson Wilks and Singapore firm Eldan Law, less than a year after it closed its Singapore office amid cost-cutting measures triggered by the coronavirus pandemic.

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