The business also has a strong commitment to people investment and engagement, which is reflected in the firm's track record of bringing junior lawyers through to partnership, including Dominic Watkins, now Head of Food Group, and Rhys Sanchez, a partner in DWF's insurance team. This people-focused approach is also underpinned by DWF's commitment to fostering diversity and inclusion through its offices in order to retain and attract top talent in the industry. London-based partner Seema Bains, who joined DWF in 2009, is the Head of the DWF's Diversity Steering Group and was recently shortlisted for Legal Advisor of the Year at the 2018 Women in Finance awards.
Now led by Executive Partner and Head of Retail, Food and Hospitality Hilary Ross, DWF London advises a number of household names including Marks & Spencer, HDI Global SE, Chubb Insurance, Lloyds Banking, HSBC and Barclays and has made a series of high-profile lateral hires over the past twelve months, with a particular focus on growing its City corporate practice. Last year saw the appointment of corporate heavyweights Mel Sims, formerly of DLA Piper and Andrew Carpenter, formerly of Addleshaw Goddard, who joined DWF's Head of Corporate in London Matthew Doughty to create a powerhouse team in the City. The London team has advised on high profile deals such as acting for Investec Bank plc in relation to a £17m placing by AIM-listed interior furnishings group Walker Greenbank plc and advising PepsiCo UK on the sale of its Boxford Farm juice processing and manufacturing business to Belgian-headquartered drinks manufacturer and supplier Koning Juices & Drinks UK.
Hilary Ross, Executive Partner of DWF's London office, said: "The last ten years have seen a tremendous amount of change in the legal market, and with that has come a fair amount of challenges and uncertainty. Throughout this, DWF has embraced a mindset of innovation and disruption, which has allowed us to meet these challenges head on, adapt to the pace of change and maintain a forward-thinking approach for our clients. As a comparatively young firm in the City we have never been restricted by tradition or 'the old way' of doing things, driven by the exceptional talent and sector knowledge of our people, has allowed us to be truly different in our approach.
"As we've grown, DWF's London office has evolved into a powerhouse in its own right and provides a fantastic shop window for our national platform as well as a being a connective hub for our international offices. It's been a truly unprecedented decade, not only for DWF but for our sector as a whole, and we look forward to seeing what the next decade brings for us."