Dentons office in Washington, D.C. Photo: Diego M. Radzinschi/ALM

Dentons has created a new U.K. regulatory and trade group ahead of Brexit and has hired Roger Matthews, a former Dechert and European Commission lawyer, to join it as a partner

Matthews spent four years, beginning in 2015, as a senior director in Dechert’s international trade and EU law team. Prior to that, he was a legal adviser to HM Treasury for almost seven years until 2014, during which time he also worked as a seconded national expert for the European Commission between 2009 and 2012. He also was a legal adviser to the Bank of England between 2014 and 2015.

Dentons’ group will be made up of 20 lawyers from its energy, financial services, data protection, environmental, insurance, competition tax and disputes practices, and will be headed by partner Christopher McGee-Osborne and senior associate Katharine Harle.

The firm said it hopes the new group will prove a compelling proposition for clients looking for advice on national and cross-border investigation work.

Jeremy Cohen, Dentons’ U.K. and Middle East CEO, said in a statement that advice on international trade is an “underdeveloped area in the U.K. legal market,” but necessary for any “full-service commercial law offering once the U.K. leaves the EU.”

McGee-Osborne currently co-chairs the firm’s global energy practice and is joint-lead of Dentons’ government team. Harle spent almost five years in-house at the Financial Services Authority until 2011.

The group will also include Martin Mankabady, corporate partner; litigation partner Daren Allen; and Dubai-based U.K. and Middle East general counsel Andrew Cheung.

Matthews hire follows two new partner recruits for Dentons’ London derivatives practices from Allen & Overy and Fieldfisher. Yusuf Battiwala joined from Allen & Overy, where he spent 14 years and served as counsel, and Luke Whitmore joined from Fieldfisher, where he had been a partner since 2013.