DLA Piper and Dechert settle dispute over lateral hire

January 18, 2012 A long running dispute between DLA Piper and Dechert over Dechert’s hire of former DLA litigation co-head Neil Gerrard has been settled after going through arbitration in the UK and litigation in the US. It is unclear whether the terms of the settlement include any transfer of money, with all parties keeping very quiet on the matter.

The dispute arose in April last year when Gerrard left DLA to join Dechert's London office as co-head of the firm's global white-collar litigation practice. DLA initiated arbitration against its former partner, alleging that he had violated DLA's non-compete policy by failing to serve a period of gardening leave, and refused to transfer client records for matters Gerrard had been working on to Dechert. In October Dechert filed a one-page writ of summons against DLA's US and UK operations in a court in Philadelphia.

Gerrard was represented in the UK arbitration by Herbert Smith and Mark Howard QC of Brick Court Chambers. DLA was advised by Stephenson Harwood's litigation head John Fordham.

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