business men in London
business men in London ()

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has hired Macfarlanes financial services head David Berman in London, in a rare exit for the U.K. firm.

Berman, who is leaving after seven years at Macfarlanes, adds financial regulatory expertise to Quinn’s existing white-collar practice in London. He will join as London head of regulatory and financial services.

“I look forward to bringing an added, and complementary, dimension to Quinn’s world-class investigations and white-collar practice,” Berman said.

Berman joined Macfarlanes as a partner in 2009 from legacy Anglo-German investment bank Dresdner Kleinwort, where his roles included heading up the U.K. business and client management team. Dresdner Kleinwort was taken over by Commerzbank in 2009.

He has direct experience dealing with U.K. financial services regulator, the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA), and advising on matters including internal investigations.

“David’s financial services regulatory expertise and credentials perfectly complement our leading investigations and white-collar practice—an area of continued strategic focus and growth,” said London co-managing partner Richard East.

It is not yet clear who will replace Berman at Macfarlanes as head of financial services.

“We are sorry to see David go,” said Macfarlanes senior partner Charles Martin. “He is leaving for a very different platform and new challenges. We wish him well.”

Pressure from U.K. regulators has led to increasing demand for legal advice since the financial recession. Macfarlanes hired Berman the same week that FCA predecessor the Financial Services Authority promised to usher in a tougher, more interventionist approach to policing the city.

His hire marks the fifth lateral partner hire by Quinn in London so far this year, taking the office to 19 partners. It comes after the litigation leader hired Covington & Burling partner and former Serious Fraud Office prosecutor Robert Amaee in August, to launch a new London white-collar and corporate investigations practice.

The other recruits include Herbert Smith Freehills construction partner James Bremen in June; Clyde & Co litigation partner Paul Friedman in February; and DLA Piper’s U.K. competition head Kate Vernon in March.

However, last week Quinn was hit by the departure of Moscow arbitration partners Ivan Marisin and Vasily Kuznetsov, who left for U.S. rival Baker Botts.

Macfarlanes rarely loses partners to rival firms or makes lateral hires.

Exits from the firm include the 2011 departure of corporate partner Rachel Bond to take up an in-house role at financial services company Byhiras, while planning head Ian Ginbey and real estate partner Richard Reuben departed for Clyde & Co and Fladgate, respectively.

Recent hires for Macfarlanes include Ashurst City real estate partner Gerald Kelly in December last year. The firm hired Shearman & Sterling real estate partner Clare Breeze in 2013. Earlier that year, it also brought in investment funds partner Simon Thomas from U.S. firm Akin Gump.