Emma Lindsay

In another lateral departure from the newly formed Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, Emma Lindsay has left her role as head of the firm’s New York-based international arbitration group to lead the practice stateside at Withers.

Lindsay, who was most recently counsel at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner, is joining Withers as a partner in New York, where she will head the London-based firm’s budding U.S. international arbitration group.

Withers, which is led by New York-based chairman Ivan Sacks, is known as Withers Bergman in the U.S., a relic of the firm’s 2002 merger with New Haven, Connecticut-based Bergman, Horowitz & Reynolds. In August, Withers absorbed JAG Shaw Baker, a U.K. firm focused on technology and life sciences work.

“The firm’s devoted a lot of energy over the last several years to developing its arbitration practice,” Lindsay said about Withers. “It’s a really interesting, young and dynamic team that I think is just going from strength to strength at the moment.”

Lindsay specializes in investment treaty arbitration and international commercial arbitration work, providing advice to corporate, sovereign and individual clients spanning a wide range of industries in a variety of jurisdictions.

Following a judicial clerkship at the International Court of Justice in The Hague, Netherlands, Lindsay joined Simpson Thacher & Bartlett in 2005 as an associate in its international arbitration practice. In 2014, Lindsay made the move to Bryan Cave, coming aboard as counsel in the firm’s commercial litigation group and international arbitration team.

In April, Bryan Cave completed its trans-Atlantic union with London-based Berwin Leighton Paisner to create Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. The combined firm has more than 1,600 lawyers and roughly $900 million in annual gross revenue. (On Monday, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner officially launched in Hong Kong and Singapore after receiving regulatory approval for its merger in those jurisdictions.)

But even as Bryan Cave and Berwin Leighton came together, several legacy partners have decamped from the combined firm for new opportunities in the U.S. and abroad. Last week Crowell & Moring added Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner international trade partner David Stepp in Los Angeles, while construction and engineering partner Catherine Gelder in London joined CMS.

For her part, Lindsay said her departure from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner had nothing to do with the recent tie-up between both legacy firms. Instead, her exit was in the works while merger talks were going on, she said.

“I have a lot of very dear friends there so I look forward to seeing how the merger unfolds and how it all works out for everyone,” said Lindsay, who used former DLA Piper lawyer-turned-legal recruiter Jonathan Benjamin to broker her move to Withers.

Withers was founded in 1896 in London. After the merger that created Withers Bergman in 2002, the firm, known for its private client expertise, has been busy opening offices in many of the world’s financial centers. During its most recent fiscal year, Withers saw gross revenue rise 1.2 percent, to $231.6 million, and profits per partner jump 5.5 percent, to $527,178, according to U.K. financial records.

The nearly 450-lawyer firm now has 17 offices around the world, including seven in the U.S. Lindsay said that London has been the center of gravity in the international arbitration arena for some time. Withers’ expansion plans gives her a unique opportunity to help the firm grow its U.S. international arbitration group.

“I’m really excited about the westward expansion and to be spearheading that effort over here in the U.S., as well as offer the firm’s clients a more global offering,” Lindsay said.