19 Sep 2019

Alston & Bird flies into London

Firm opens London office adding seven new attorneys, including three partners, in finance and payments, other hires planned.


Alston & Bird has taken a strategic decision to expand its European practice by opening a London office on the strength of its growing finance and payments practices. The office supports the firm’s finance and payments industry clients.

New team

Joining the office are three new partners, two of whom are moving from K&L Gates LLP. The first is Andrew Petersen, who was head of the finance practice in K&L Gates’s London office and a practice area leader for the firm’s global finance practice. He will be joined by finance partner James Spencer. Accompanying them are two other members of their team, associates Sherry Scrivens and Tom Dunn. Other associate hires are planned. Also joining the new office is competition partner and payments industry advisor James Ashe-Taylor. Dual-qualified in both the UK and Ireland, Ashe-Taylor arrives from Constantine Cannon LLP, where he was head of the firm’s European antitrust practice. Ashe-Taylor is also the former partner in charge of Gibson Dunn’s London and Brussels offices. He is accompanied by associates Simon Albert and Nassos Kalliris. In addition, Alston & Bird payments partner Rich Willis will serve as the office’s partner in charge and play a key role in continuing to build out the firm’s global payments practice. Willis is also partner in charge of the firm’s office in Brussels, where he has lived and practiced for more than 15 years.

Payments boom

“Our London office reflects the strength of our global finance and payment systems practices, as well as the vitality of the many clients we have been serving in these areas,” said Alston & Bird chairman and managing partner Richard Hays. “The office also provides support to our lawyers who have been serving a number of marquee clients in London in recent years.” Duncan Douglass, leader of Alston & Bird’s payment systems team, added “A boom in the payments sector has gathered pace in the UK as consumers change the way they pay for goods, and legacy providers are challenged by rivals.” The London office is Alston & Bird’s 12th office worldwide.