Dentons hires Virgin Group Holdings director as Caribbean head of corporate and commercial

Leonard Birmingham earlier served as global head of corporate at offshore law firm Harneys

Leonard Birmingham Image courtesy of Dentons

Dentons has added a non-executive director of the holding company of the Virgin Group as its head of corporate and commercial law for the Caribbean.

Leonard Birmingham, who was global head of corporate at offshore law firm Harneys prior to his six-year stint at Virgin Group Holdings, will be based in Denton’s office in Trinidad & Tobago and spend time in the British Virgin Islands (BVI) and other offices. He is expected to lead the regional corporate and commercial teams advising on transactional and financial law across the firm’s Caribbean footprint.

Birmingham brings more than two decades of experience in corporate and commercial, banking, insolvency and securities law to his new firm. He joined Harneys in the BVI back in 1992 as an associate, made partner five years later and was named global head of corporate in 2003, when he also relocated to head the firm’s London office.

At Dentons, Birmingham is expected to take on a larger remit with a wider internal leadership role in addition to assisting local businesses and multinationals to meet their corporate aims.

Dustin Delany, Dentons Caribbean chair and regional managing partner, said Birmingham’s hire underscored the firm’s ability to attract top-tier talent to meet client demand, adding that he would “contribute to the firm’s growth across the Caribbean.”

The global giant’s Caribbean arm is ranked by Chambers and currently advises clients in 14 jurisdictions across the region.

Birmingham said of the move: “Dentons Delany as the sole truly pan Caribbean law firm is in a period of rapid growth and is well-positioned to capitalise on emerging international and regional economic trends,” adding that he was “delighted to be joining the firm at this time. It means quality work, the opportunity to practice across several jurisdictions, and perhaps most important, the chance to work with talented people across the globe.”

In January Dentons named Paloma Gomez as its next Latin America and Caribbean region CEO, replacing Jorge Alers, who stepped down from the role almost six years after the firm first entered the region.

Over the past year the firm, the world’s largest by headcount with more than 10,000 lawyers, also set up shop in Bolivia, Nigeria, Vietnam and Mozambique through tie-ups with local firms.

Earlier this week the firm also announced the spin out of its 250-strong Russian arm into an independent firm in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, with the crisis leading an array of international firms to announce they would shutter their Moscow offices and terminate relationships with Russia-related clients.

In other Caribbean legal news, UK law firm HFW said last month it taken over the BVI office of Bahamas litigation firm Lennox Paton, in a rare instance of an onshore law firm securing an offshore base. 


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