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Latham & Watkins has set out ambitious targets to ramp up its presence in the London litigation market, as the US firm continues to make inroads in the City.

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Law Firms Mentioned

<a href="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart

/uploads/sites/378/2017/09/Alford_Stuart_72243_03_LO_MIT-Article-201710020843.jpg"><img class="alignleft size-full wp-image-67438" src="http://www.almcms.com/contrib

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart

/uploads/sites/378/2017/09/Alford_Stuart_72243_03_LO_MIT-Article-201710020843.jpg" alt="" width="620" height="372" /></a> Latham &amp; Watkins has set out ambitious��targets to ramp up its presence in the London litigation market, as the US firm��continues to make inroads in the City. The <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/25/the-global-100-2017-worlds-largest-law-firms-see-profits-plateau-as-growth-continues-to-slow/">Global 100</a> leader, which has made��<a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/10/28/latham-magic-circle-hires-continue-with-allen-overy-ma-star/">a string of��corporate and finance hires in London</a> in recent months, has now set its sights on a similar push in disputes, and is aiming to double the number of lawyers in��its London litigation department during the next three to five years. The growth targets would��see London litigation headcount increase from about 30 to 60, with partner numbers rising from 11 to about 22. The expansion��plans, already on their way to fruition with <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/10/03/latham-bolsters-london-and-new-york-bases-with-ao-and-cms-partner-hires/">this weeks hire of��CMS UK litigator Ian Felstead</a>, come on the back of the appointment of Stuart Alford QC (pictured above) and Oliver Browne as co-chairs of the City disputes practice earlier this year. The��duo��took up��their roles <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/01/04/latham-watkins-london-litigation-chair-joins-signature-litigation/">following the exit of former chair Simon Bushell</a> to Signature Litigation in January. Alford joined Latham last October from the Serious Fraud Office (SFO), where he was head of the fraud division, while Browne has been at the firm��for 12 years, making partner in 2012 after joining��from Allen &amp; Overy in 2005. Alford said: ���We are aiming to grow the team��to 20% of London office headcount, which would effectively mean doubling in size within the next��three to five years.��� Currently,��approximately��70%��of��Lathams global��revenues come from transactional practices, with disputes representing the other 30%.��The long-term goal is to see the London office reflect this proportion. Overall, Latham has 330 lawyers and 75 partners in London. The firm��has three core groups within its litigation department ��� international arbitration, complex commercial litigation and white-collar crime. Competition sits with both corporate and litigation. Latham��is prioritising growth in the white-collar space, said Alford. ���White-collar is a good example of where we want to grow ��� that���s a priority for us. In the medium term we want this practice group in London to hold its own with the other players in the market.��� Other recent City litigation recruits include <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/01/30/latham-hires-quinn-litigator-martin-davies-in-london/">Martin Davies</a>, who joined in January��from Quinn Emmanuel Urquhart &amp; Sullivan, and arbitration partner Sophie Lamb, who <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/10/28/latham-magic-circle-hires-continue-with-allen-overy-ma-star/">joined from Debevoise &amp; Plimpton last year</a>. The firm is also��eyeing up more partners with regulatory experience, after last year��taking on��the Competition and Markets Authority���s (CMA) director of mergers, Jonathan Parker. ���We have a desire to build our regulatory enforcement experience in London, Frankfurt and Paris, particularly in the context of Brexit," Alford said. "We will need more��CMA expertise, more SFO expertise, and people who can cope with regulations in each jurisdiction. ���We want to grow the balance between transactional work and litigation. The strategy for the firm is to increase the litigation component. We have recognised as a firm there are opportunities we are not exploiting. In London, there are more significant deals ��� there is a real focus placed on that.��� Latham recently <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/09/25/the-global-100-2017-worlds-largest-law-firms-see-profits-plateau-as-growth-continues-to-slow/">retained its��top spot in the Global 100 revenue rankings</a>��for the third year running, having made significant gains across all metrics in 2016. Revenue increased for the seventh consecutive year, climbing 6.5% to pass $2.8bn on the back of significant investment in London and Germany. In addition to <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2016/11/08/latham-sets-out-plans-to-take-on-the-magic-circle-in-london-ma/">taking on��the magic circle in the London M&amp;A market</a>, the firm also wants to be��<a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/06/07/we-want-to-be-on-a-par-with-freshfields-latham-germany-chief-sets-out-bold-2020-strategy/">viewed��as��on a par with the top firms in Germany</a>, such as Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer and Hengeler Mueller. This February,��chief operating officer LeeAnn Black told <em>Legal Week</em> sister title��<em>The American Lawyer</em> that <a href="http://www.legalweek.com/sites/legalweek/2017/02/23/latham-posts-seventh-consecutive-year-of-growth-as-pep-breaks-3m-for-first-time/">the Brexit vote had had no impact on the firms strategy</a>, and that London remained��"a critical market" for��the firm. <

  • Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer
  • Quinn Emanuel Urquhart

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