Senior DLA partner duo quit firm to join Dechert's London arm

DLA Piper is set to see its global co-head of litigation and regulation Neil Gerrard and its EMEA head of corporate crime and investigations Jonathan Pickworth leave the firm.

Gerrard and Pickworth (pictured) both handed in their notice yesterday (31 March) to join Dechert’s City arm, with the firm also understood to be in talks with additional DLA partners.

Gerrard, who has co-led DLA Piper’s litigation group since the three-way merger in January 2005 between DLA, Piper Rudnick and Gray Cary Ware & Freidenrich, focuses on corporate white collar crime and regulatory investigations.

The departures will be viewed as a blow to DLA Piper’s litigation and regulatory group, which in December saw London partner Daren Allen leave for Berwin Leighton Paisner.

Andrew Darwin, managing director of DLA Piper Europe, will replace Gerrard in his global role until the firm decides on a replacement.

He said in a statement: “DLA Piper’s litigation and regulatory business has more than 300 partners globally and is sufficiently resilient to be able to cope with management changes. We have a strong leadership team and fully expect that the performance of this business, and the services we offer to our clients, will be unaffected.”

Dechert’s website lists two London litigation partners – Bernard Caulfield and Andrew Hearn. The firm declined to comment.