UK Mergers

Douglas Davison, a longtime partner at Wilmer Cutler Pickering Hale and Dorr in Washington, D.C., has left the firm to join London-based legal giant Linklaters in the nation’s capital.

Linklaters announced Monday its hire of Davison, who leaves Wilmer after more than 16 years at the firm. Davison joined the latter in 2001 after holding a variety of roles at the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, including acting as counsel to the SEC chairman and serving as branch chief of the SEC’s enforcement division.

Davison advises clients on investigations and enforcement matters in relation to a range of U.S. agencies, including the SEC, Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, the U.S. Commodity Futures Trading Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice.

His hire is part of a concerted push by Linklaters to build out its white-collar and investigations practice in the U.S. In March, the Magic Circle firm recruited Matthew Axelrod from the Justice Department, where he was a principal associate deputy attorney general in Washington, D.C. And last year Linklaters hired Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft partner Adam Lurie to head its litigation and government investigations practice in the nation’s capital, as well as Baker McKenzie’s global head of white-collar crime Douglas Tween, who joined Linklaters’ New York office.

“Linklaters is ideally positioned to handle complex cross-border investigations buy U.S. and international regulators because of our integrated network of offices and practices around the world,” said a statement by the firm’s dispute resolution head Michael Bennett, who spoke with sibling publication Legal Week earlier this year about Linklaters’ recruitment efforts in the litigation arena. “[Davison’s] hire emphasizes our commitment and global ambition to further strengthen our SEC and regulatory enforcement capabilities.”

Linklaters’ Lurie said in his own statement that he has known Davison for many years, and that his addition to the firm would help Linklaters “bring tremendous value to our clients both in the U.S. and across the globe by helping them navigate the increasingly complex and evolving regulatory environment.”

In May, Linklaters appointed corporate partner Tom Shropshire to head its U.S. practice following the retirement of partner Scott Bowie just two years into his four-year leadership term. Shropshire will split his time between London and New York, while continuing to work with clients. He has also taken Bowie’s seat on Linklaters’ executive committee.

May also saw Linklaters’ U.S. banking head and ex-U.S. co-managing partner Jeffrey Norton decamp for Dechert in New York, while White & Case picked up Linklaters banking partner Sabrena Silver in the same city. Linklaters dispute resolution partner Paul Hessler in New York also recently retired from the firm.

Linklaters recently posted solid financial results for fiscal 2016-17, with profits per partner up 7.8 percent, to nearly £1.57 million ($2.04 million), and gross revenue rising almost 10 percent, to £1.44 billion ($1.87 billion).