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November 7, 2011 – In a major global expansion to meet the needs of its national and international clients, Locke Lord announced today it will significantly develop its London presence. This strategic move will dramatically increase Locke Lord’s breadth and depth outside the United States with the initial addition of an established on-the-ground international team that strengthens Locke Lord’s core practices of banking, corporate, energy, insurance, real estate and dispute resolution.
Locke Lord serves major Fortune 500 and other clients with business around the world and is constantly looking for new and better ways to meet clients’ needs. This most recent group of 11 lawyers brings critical mass to better serve these clients and strengthens the Firm’s existing ties to the UK and Asia, providing valuable synergies among the Firm’s 650 attorneys located in key U.S. cities. Stephen Finch, a former Global Chairman of the Board of a prestigious international law firm, will join as a Partner, and Roger Abrahams, a former Global Managing Partner of the same law firm, will serve as a Consultant. Both have significant experience in the banking and finance arena and also in managing and growing London and global offices. International expansion has been part of Locke Lord’s strategic growth plan since the merger of Chicago-based Lord, Bissell & Brook and Texas-based Locke Liddell & Sapp in 2007, and marks a new chapter for a Firm whose roots go back more than 120 years.
“This strong UK core group gives us a platform on which to build our global presence and moves us toward a truly integrated, international law firm,” said Firm Chair Jerry Clements. She said, “Our clients are placing an increased focus on growth outside of the United States, and we believe these talented and exceptional solicitors – most of whom already have worked as a successful team – will help us expand our international footprint and better serve our clients worldwide.”
Clements added, “The time is right, and our excellent metrics and momentum in the marketplace have combined to create a pivotal moment for Locke Lord. We are thrilled at the possibilities ahead and at our future enhanced capabilities to give our clients around the world the very best, most comprehensive service available. London is one of the world’s financial centres and a key conduit for Locke Lord’s increasingly international client base. Our clients’ business and the legal industry demand that we evolve to meet the challenges of a global marketplace.”
“This is an incredible opportunity to be associated with such a fine and collegial law firm which is entrepreneurial and strategic,“ Finch said. “I look forward to working with the U.S. partners of Locke Lord, and to helping them deliver first-tier international service to all of the Firm’s clients.”
The initial London Office team to join Locke Lord in 2012 includes:
- Roger G. Abrahams is a well-regarded solicitor and businessman in the UK and has extensive international law firm management experience. He has decades of experience advising clients in the real estate, automotive and banking and finance industries.
- Robert Courtneidge is noted for his knowledge and experience in the e-money area, where he has acted on matters for major financial institutions around the world. He has more than 20 years of experience in the cards and payment systems and is skilled in all aspects of consumer finance issues, including consumer protection, banking regulation and compliance and data protection.
- Stephen Finch has 25-plus years in banking and finance and is recognized by Chambers UK as "a giant" in the industry and a consummate solicitor.
- David Grant has an insolvency restructuring practice, with an emphasis on contentious insolvency and recovery actions, including cross-border asset tracing and asset and security recoveries. He is commended by Chambers UK for being commercial, a great negotiator and a welcome sight on a case.
- Kevin Heath has more than two decades of experience in banking and finance litigation and reorganization, restructuring and insolvency. He expanded the asset finance consumer credit litigation team at his previous firm and also managed a team of 40 solicitors in that high profile practice.
- Paula Howard has a broad-based cross-border banking and finance practice, and her clients include international banks, financial institutions, credit card providers, pre-pay organisations and equipment-leasing companies. She works for both borrowers and lenders and has years of experience in consumer finance issues.
- Joseph Kosky, a commercial litigation partner, has a broad range of experience in all types of civil and commercial litigation. He handles cross border disputes, professional negligence claims, judicial reviews, civil fraud, intellectual property and contractual disputes, claims in tort, emergency remedies and more. He has significant experience in international litigation and has represented multiple administrations of the Iraqi government for many years.
- Bill McCaffrey, a banking and finance solicitor noted by Chambers UK as a leader in consumer finance, spent several years as an in-house lawyer with various financial institutions before joining a law firm. Besides consumer finance, McCaffrey's practice focuses on asset finance and leasing with several clients connected to the automotive industry.
- Daniel Polden is experienced in property funding transactions, sales and purchase of investment properties, joint ventures and property development. In his banking and finance and real estate practices, Polden represents domestic and offshore companies and institutions, retail organisations and individuals and is commended by Chambers UK for finding solutions to complex deals.
- Graham Spitz focuses his practice in the corporate and real estate areas and has solid experience in corporate finance and private equity, including joint ventures, management buy-outs and mergers and acquisitions. He advises on property transactions and distressed private equity funds connected to structuring and corporate issues. Through his strong network of clients, Spitz has strong ties to the UK, as well as to Germany and Romania.
- Jim Varley has extensive experience consulting in the area of contentious insolvency and has advised a wide range of accountancy firms and businesses facing financial challenges. His knowledge of reorganization, recovery and insolvency has led to many speaking engagements and publications on the topic.
Locke Lord consistently ranks among American Lawyer’s top 100 U.S. law firms. The Firm’s full range of practice and industry areas serve national and international clients from offices in Atlanta, Austin, Chicago, Dallas, Hong Kong, Houston, London, Los Angeles, New Orleans, New York, Sacramento, San Francisco and Washington, D.C. It has an excellent reputation in complex litigation, regulatory and transactional work, with its 650-plus attorneys building collaborative relationships and crafting creative solutions – all designed and executed to meet clients’ long-term strategic goals.