Bircham Dyson Bell (BDB) has acquired King & Wood Mallesons’ (KWM) Cambridge office, including its local nine-lawyer real estate team.
The team is led by partner Simon Burson, who joins with eight fee-earners and two support staff. Burson will head BDB’s new Cambridge office, which will be expanded beyond real estate to a full-service offering focused on IP, commercial, employment, charities and private wealth.
KWM opened the Cambridge office at the start of last year following a mass hire from Eversheds around 12 months before. Burson also led the team move from Eversheds, which included William Naunton, who later became KWM head of real estate. He has since moved to DLA Piper.
BDB managing partner Andrew Smith said: “This expansion outside London is a key element of our wider growth strategy and our new Cambridge practice is the first step in that process.”
KWM is attempting to sell off as much of its EUME business as possible prior to going into administration at the end of this week. DLA Piper and Reed Smith are also understood to be poised to buy out a number of lawyers and their support teams.
Goodwin Procter revealed it was hiring a 26-strong team on Wednesday, prompting KWM to drop its lawsuit against the US firm over claims it unlawfully poached its Paris private equity team.
KWM China is also expected to pick up a number of lawyers and support staff in London, Germany, Dubai, Italy and Spain.
The sell-off comes as KWM managing partner Tim Bednall broke the news to all remaining employees that it would not be able to pay salaries owed for January after Barclays rejected a call for extra funds from the firm.
On the same day KWM’s former administrators AlixPartners pulled out of the administration, with the firm instead turning to Andrew Hosking from Quantuma.
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