Stephenson Harwood boosts London litigation team with Latham hire

Dan Smith joins UK firm as a partner after more than a decade at US firm

Dan Smith Image courtesy of Stephenson Harwood

Stephenson Harwood has added a former Latham & Watkins counsel as a partner to its litigation department in London.  

Dan Smith, who departs the US firm after twelve years, specialises in significant banking and financial services litigation claims, associated commercial disputes and parallel regulatory investigations. 

He advises banks and other financial institutions, as well as their corporate clients, with a particular emphasis on investment banking, financial services insolvencies and bribery and corruption, as well as related onshore and offshore proceedings.

Smith brings almost 25 years of private practice experience to the role, having trained and worked at magic circle firm Slaughter and May. His time there included a stint as a solicitor judicial assistant in the Court of Appeal, supporting appellate judges including Lord Phillips, the (then) Master of the Rolls. He also spent nearly seven years at legacy Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, before its merger with Clyde & Co.

"Litigation is part of Stephenson Harwood’s DNA and an area we're focused on strengthening as part of our wider growth plans," said partner Ed Davis, co-head of Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation practice group. 

"Dan is an experienced litigator with an excellent reputation in finance disputes. Not only has he been involved in, and led, some of the biggest cases of recent years, his focus on funds and financial institutions perfectly complements one of our key strategic areas of focus. His arrival enables us to continue to expand our litigation capabilities.”

Smith said Stephenson Harwood’s market position allowed it “to take on a huge variety of the biggest and most complex cases” and he was “excited to be joining at a time of expansion for the firm, working alongside the funds, life sciences and technology teams in particular”.

He added that he expected London’s litigation climate to remain active. “Recent global events have caused immense disruption, increasing the rate of distressed investment assets and contentious restructurings, as well as new business opportunities. 

“These factors are creating disputes and will continue to do so. Many of them could be resolved early, but others may require litigating in the courts.” 

Smith’s arrival complements the work of Stephenson Harwood’s last London lateral litigation hire, equity partner Genevieve Quierin, who joined the firm in 2020 from Mishcon de Reya. Quierin has rapidly built up a significant practice acting for corporates in collective actions

The disputes team has also seen organic internal growth in London recently, with arbitration lawyer Jide Adesokan and commercial litigator Alan Ward making partner in April as part of a 10-strong round. 

Going the other way, the team saw arbitration partner Shai Wade exit earlier this month to head up the arbitration group at RPC

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