DWF recruits Addleshaws' former international managing partner in double hire for London base

DWF has strengthened its London corporate practice with a double hire, including Addleshaw Goddard partner and former international divisional managing partner Andrew Carpenter.

Carpenter has joined DWF this week alongside former DLA Piper corporate partner Mel Sims.

The pair both join as partners in the firm’s City corporate practice.

Carpenter, who first started at Addleshaws in 2006, focuses on domestic and international M&A transactions, acting primarily for private equity investors. Prior to taking up a role with Addleshaws, he was a corporate partner at DLA.

Last year, Carpenter ran unsuccessfully to become senior partner at Addleshaws against corporate finance head Charles Penney. Prior to this, in 2014 he stepped down from his management position after the creation of a sectors head led to a duplication of roles.

Sims joined DLA in 1989 and specialises in joint venture enterprises and acting for corporates on cross-border M&A deals. He has particular experience in international projects, specifically in the Middle East and North Africa, and was a part of DLA’s Middle Eastern corporate practice. He left the firm in June 2015 to work externally with established clients, who he will now bring in-house to DWF.

Carpenter told Legal Week: “The business of law has got to change and a lot of firms say they are changing, but they are playing at it and really it is business as usual. When I looked at DWF, I thought ‘these guys are really approaching services in a different way’ and it is the way I think it should be approached.”

Sims added: “DWF has a model that I can identify with, having being part of the expansion of my former firm DLA Piper. I never thought I would want to join another firm, having been there for 26 years, and I probably wouldn’t have done if not for the opportunity at DWF.”

Both said that the appointment of former DLA head Sir Nigel Knowles as chairman was a valuable addition to DWF, but Carpenter said he would have joined the firm “with or without” his influence.

Sims said: “I have known Sir Nigel for a long time and have worked very closely with him, so I was delighted that it was happening at the same time because it is a natural continuation of where I was before.”

Head of the London corporate team at DWF, Matthew Doughty, said: “Continuing to grow and invest in our London corporate practice, particularly in our private equity and financial services sector capabilities, is a real focus for us and is essential as we increasingly extend our geographical footprint.”

DWF has recently bolstered its corporate practice with a number of senior hires. Doughty joined the firm from Squire Patton Boggs in 2016 and was followed by corporate M&A partner Alistair Hogarth, who joined from PwC Legal in February this year.