Norton Rose Fulbright secures top BNP Paribas disputes lawyer in London

Alison Kellett is also president of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal

Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF) has hired a senior BNP Paribas disputes lawyer as a partner in London.

Alison Kellett, who is also president of the Solicitors Disciplinary Tribunal (SDT), is joining NRF’s EMEA arm after more than a decade at BNP Paribas, where she was head of group dispute resolution (UK, Channel Islands and Nordics).

In her wide-ranging role, Kellett supported the bank’s London hub for corporate and institutional banking business. That saw her build up close relationships with firms including Travers Smith and NRF – in May she spoke on a panel with NRF partner Harriet Jones-Fenleigh during London International Disputes Week.

Key work undertaken at BNP Paribas included issues arising from the Madoff fraud, including related US liquidation and bankruptcy proceedings originally valued at $1bn.

Patrick Bourke, EMEA head of litigation and disputes, said: “We are delighted to welcome a lawyer of Alison’s calibre to the firm. She has unparalleled litigation and investigations experience on complex matters, gained in private practice and in-house at one of the world’s leading financial institutions. Alison has outstanding technical skills and deep sector knowledge which will be a tremendous asset to our clients.”

Ruth Cowley, London disputes partner, added: “Alison’s addition to our leading disputes and investigations team adds a new dimension given the depth of her in-house experience and the breadth of the issues on which she has advised the C-suite.”

In February 2022, Kellett became the first woman SDT president, having previously served as its vice-president. As president she oversaw the integration of new members to the tribunal following a period of enhanced recruitment to meet disciplinary demands.

The new members, she said in 2022, would “continue to bring greater diversity to the organisation to better reflect the make-up of our profession”.

Kellett began her career at Clifford Chance as a senior associate, where she spent 10 years in the firm’s litigation team, working on all aspects of contentious financial regulatory investigations, including the most high-profile cases of the time.

She joins NRF following a reduced partner promotion round in 2023, which saw it make up 36 lawyers across its global network – down from 54 in 2022. The cohort included 12 litigation and disputes specialists, including London’s Stuart Neely.

Kellett’s arrival will bolster NRF’s senior disputes ranks in London following the departure in January last year of Michael Godden, Bourke’s predecessor as EMEA head of disputes. The experienced financial services litigator re-joined Allen & Overy.

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