DWF banking and restructuring heads to exit for rival firms

Two national practice group heads are leaving DWF’s Manchester office to join rival firms.

The firm’s head of business restructuring and head of corporate banking have both resigned from DWF, to join Hill Dickinson and Browne Jacobson respectively.

The firm’s head of business restructuring Gavin Jones is leaving the firm to join Hill Dickinson. Jones has been a partner with DWF for seven years, having previously been a partner at Manchester firm Halliwells.

Head of corporate banking Jonathan Edwards is leaving to join Browne Jacobson to lead its Manchester banking and finance team. Edwards, who has led the DWF corporate banking team since 2010, has a focus on acquisition finance and leveraged finance.

Edwards has been a partner with the firm for seven years, having previously led the Manchester office of Hammonds, now part of US firm Squire Patton Boggs.

Browne Jacobson’s head of banking and finance, Paul Ray, said: “Jonathan is a real heavyweight and his appointment underlines our long-term commitment to creating a top-tier banking practice in Manchester.”

Earlier this month, Hill Dickinson agreed a deal to transfer its £23m insurance business to Keoghs, resulting in the exit of 16 partners and about 400 other fee earners in Liverpool, London and Manchester. The move comes as the firm moves away from insurance to focus on its health, marine and commercial practices.

The firm also held unsuccessful merger talks this year with insurance and shipping firm Ince & Co.

Browne Jacobson also held merger talks earlier this year with Beale & Co, however those talks later broke down.

Earlier this month, DWF strengthened its corporate practice with hires from Addleshaw Goddard and DLA Piper. The firm brought on board Addleshaws’ former international divisional managing partner Andrew Carpenter and former DLA Piper corporate partner Mel Sims.

A spokesperson for DWF said: “Both Jonathan and Gavin have made significant contributions to DWF, and we wish them well in their new roles.”

Hill Dickinson declined to comment.