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American Law.Com: Hunton Downsizes London Office Following Partner Exodus

By FZ - Posted on 03 August 2011

-By Chris Johnson

July 14, 2011- Hunton & Williams has downsized its London office after a series of partner departures dragged attorney headcount in the office down 60 percent in less than three months, reports U.K. publication Legal Week.

A total of nine staff positions -- consisting of one of counsel, two associates and six support staff -- have been eliminated in an attempt to refocus the practice after the loss of five energy and corporate partners to rival U.S. firms. Hunton had 36 lawyers in London as of April 1; it numbers just 14 today.

According to London managing partner Bridget Treacy, the redundancies are a "natural consequence" of the recent partner losses, as Legal Week reported.

The remaining seven-partner business will now focus primarily on data protection and finance as a result of the strategic realignment, after the transactional corporate and energy practices -- historically among the firm's core offerings in London -- were left with just one partner each.

Former Hunton London managing partner Martin Thomas joined Chadbourne & Parke alongside fellow corporate partner Dearbhla Quigley in May; of counsel Danny Heathwood, who worked under the pair at Hunton, subsequently joined them at the new firm. Also in May, energy partners Matthew Williams and John Deacon left with a team of six associates for Hogan Lovells, while corporate partner Paul Tetlow and senior associate James Green moved to K&L Gates with another two associates.