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The Transfer Window is a round-up of recent legal moves in the UK and abroad.

Insurance firm BLM is set to merge with eight-partner Northern Ireland firm Campbell Fitzpatrick Solicitors (CFS). The tie-up will hand BLM operations in Belfast and Londonderry as well as expand its existing office in Dublin. 

BLM senior partner Mike Brown said that the firm’s plans to build a strong footprint across the UK and Ireland are “coming to fruition”. 

Slater & Gordon has confirmed it is in talks to acquire Cardiff’s Leo Abse & Cohen. 

Australia-listed Slater & Gordon is also aiming to step up its presence in the UK, and is holding preliminary talks with Welsh firm Leo Abse & Cohen (LAC), which staffs around 150 people across eight offices in Wales and south-west England.  

The news comes weeks after the firm bulked up its presence in the East Midlands with the hire of a 10-strong Derby-based personal injury and negligence practice from local firm Flint Bishop, which operates under a separate brand called Injured Patient Claims. 

Watson Farley & Williams founder and senior adviser Alastair Farley has retired from the firm. Farley founded Watson Farley in 1982 alongside Martin Watson, who stepped down from the partnership in 2000 but remained at the firm as senior adviser, and Geoffrey Williams, who has already retired.  

King & Wood Mallesons SJ Berwin has appointed partner Tom Usher as its London head of EU, competition and regulatory. He will report to City-based antitrust and regulatory global practice co-ordinator Simon Holmes, who also heads up the European EU competition and regulatory group. 

The firm has also appointed Winston & Strawn arbitration partner Andrei Yakovlev as a partner in the City. Yakolev joined Winston & Strawn’s arbitration group from legacy Norton Rose in 2012, where he was a corporate finance partner splitting his time between London and Moscow. He was made up as a partner in 2007. 

Osborne Clarke has hired Baker & McKenzie‘s Duesseldorf intellectual property partner Andrea Schmoll, who joins the partnership in Cologne. Schmoll advises companies in the life science and healthcare, fashion and research and analytics industries, and provides counsel on IP matters in corporate transactions. 

Milbank Tweed Hadley & McCloy has secured the hire of trial lawyer Antonia Apps as a litigation partner. She is set to join from the criminal division of the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of New York, where she was a member of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Task Force.  

Apps has prosecuted against high profile securities fraud and insider trading cases including the US Department of Justice’s prosecution of the hedge fund giant SAC Capital Advisors, which culminated in a guilty plea by SAC, along with criminal and civil penalties totalling $1.8 billion (£1.1bn).  

Gide Loyrette Nouel has hired Paris-based magistrate Alain Carre-Pierrat as senior counsel. Carre-Pierrat held various positions at the Ministry of Justice in France between 1985 and 2000 before being appointed as deputy chief of staff to the minister of justice from 2000 to 2002. He chaired the fourth chamber of the Paris Court of Appeal for the next seven years, and ended his magistrate’s career as advocate general at the commercial chamber of the Court of Cassation, after holding the position from 2009 to 2013. 

DWF has turned to Addleshaws for its latest partner hires, recruiting Manchester-based banking partner Helen Corner for its corporate banking team and Leeds employment partner Rob Riley. 

Corner was a client relationship partner for Barclays at Addleshaws. She joined her former firm from Stephenson Harwood where she was also a partner. Riley works across the education, engineering, financial services, retail and transport sectors.  

Both rejoin former Addleshaws head of client delivery Andrew Chamberlain, who joined DWF in May to lead the employment team. Like Corner, Chamberlain was one of Addleshaws’ client relationship partners for Barclays. 

DWF has also hired Stephenson Harwood real estate partner Chris Seel and senior associate Nicola Giddens, with both joining as partners based in London. 

Seel was made up as a partner in 2002. He acts for owners, developers and occupiers on commercial real estate matters and has particular experience in projects work as well as working with clients in the energy, education and transport sectors.  

Giddens’ experience involves advising leading UK financial services institutions on a broad range of real estate and finance transactions, including financing UK commercial, residential and mixed-use properties both on an investment and development basis.  

Nabarro has boosted its Dubai offering with the hire of a three-lawyer team including Dentons senior associate Nick Kramer, who joins as a partner. Kramer specialises in development, infrastructure, power, energy and oil & gas projects and has worked for clients throughout the based in the UAE, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia and Jordan as well as Africa. 

Chadbourne & Parke of counsel Aarta Alkarimi and UK-qualified barrister Yousaf Said will also join the team. The lawyers join construction partner Terry Fleet and an associate at the office, who have been staffing the base since its launch earlier this year alongside real estate partner Nick Collins, who splits his time between Dubai and London. 

Ince & Co has appointed Fieldfisher partner Philippe Ruttley as its head of EU and competition. Ruttley is joining Ince as a shipping and aviation partner and will be based in London.  

Ruttley joins Ince two years after Fieldfisher hired him as a competition and EU regulatory partner from Clyde & Co, which he joined as a partner in 2001 from Mayer Brown legacy firm Rowe & Maw. 

Addleshaw Goddard has added TLT partner Richard Clayton to its finance litigation practice in London. Clayton’s four years at TLT have included two secondments to Barclays – first to its investment banking division for seven months over 2010 and 2011, and then to the bank’s litigation team this year. 

Addleshaws has also hired Helen Worth, co-founder of Hong Kong real estate boutique Cordells, as a partner in its London office. 

Worth, who was at Linklaters before moving to Hong Kong in 2011 has advised on complex property matters in Hong Kong and across Asia, including acting for the purchaser in closing Hong Kong’s largest single office acquisition to date. 

Withers has hired Ida Palombella, an IP and technology lawyer, as a special counsel in its Milan office. Along with IP associate Federica CarettaIda joins the firm on 1 October from Chiomenti Studio Legale, where she headed the firm’s IP, IT and data protection practice 

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer arbitration group partner Alex Yanos has left the firm to join Hughes Hubbard & Reed in New York. Yanos, who made partner in 2008, specialises in sovereign and Latin American disputes. He has acted in cases involving the governments of Algeria, Argentina, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Paraguay in his 20 years in litigation. 

Linklaters is expanding its London Real Estate practice and sector with the hire of Simon Price from Herbert Smith Freehills. Price specialises in structured real estate investments including joint ventures, acquisitions and disposals, as well as hotel investments, developments and operator agreements. 

Pinsent Masons has bolstered its environment and energy team with the appointment of former Bond Dickinson environment partner GeorgiMessent to its London office. 

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