International law firm Mayer Brown announced that Clare Canning, Simon Willis and Matthew Lawson have joined as partners in the Litigation practice.

At Barlow Lyde & Gilbert, their former firm, Clare led the high profile commercial litigation team, which included Simon and Matthew, best known for its work on the defence of Equitable Life's £2.6 billion claim against Ernst & Young for which it won 'Dispute Resolution Team of the Year' at the Legal Business Awards, 'Litigation Team of the Year' at the annual Legal Week Awards and together with Brick Court Chambers, Ernst & Young and 7 King's Bench Walk, the 'Litigation Team of the Year' at The Lawyer Awards.

Clare, Simon and Matthew are recognised for their expertise in large-scale commercial litigation for significant corporate professional clients, including the Big Four accountants. They complement Mayer Brown's existing global litigation team and further enhance the firm's capability in large scale commercial disputes.

The team will work closely with the U.S. litigation team, which is also renowned for its expertise in acting for the Big Four, giving the Litigation & Dispute Resolution practice a unique international platform from which to advise clients.

Joining Mayer Brown in London, are:

Clare Canning.  Clare has been a partner at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert since 1992 and the Head of Commercial Litigation since 2004. She has wide experience of litigation and arbitration across a broad spectrum of matters and advises numerous financial institutions, hedge funds and private equity houses. She is well known for her litigation advice in particular in relation to high-profile disputes in London and internationally. She is recognised as a leader in her field by independent legal directories Chambers UK and UK Legal 500. She led the team on Equitable Life.

Simon Willis.  Simon joined Barlow Lyde & Gilbert in 1998 and was made a partner in 2003. He has considerable expertise and experience in the field of professional liability. In addition his practice covers a range of commercial disputes for both corporate and professional clients, in particular banking and financial services, corporate and M&A activity, corporate insolvency, shareholder agreements, consultancy and other professional services. He is well known for his work for Ernst & Young in relation its successful defence of the major claim brought by the Equitable Life.

Matthew Lawson.  Matthew was also made a partner in 2003 in the commercial litigation team at Barlow Lyde & Gilbert. Specialising in commercial litigation, particularly claims against professional service firms, he has extensive experience of large-scale disputes. In particular he is experienced in disciplinary and regulatory investigations, public inquiries, as well as litigation both within and outside the UK. He also acts for both claimants and defendants on contract and licensing disputes and acts for insurers and insureds in defending professional indemnity claims.

Commenting on behalf of the team joining Mayer Brown, Clare Canning said: "I have enjoyed my time at Barlows and am now looking forward to a new challenge. Mayer Brown's existing expertise coupled with its commitment to develop its litigation practice is enormously attractive in terms of the opportunities it presents."

Paul Maher, Vice-Chairman Mayer Brown, continued: "Big-ticket litigation is one of Mayer Brown's core components, and it remains critical that we boost our offering for clients, where we can, as part of the execution of our strategy. It is also an area which has enormous potential for client service internationally. While our U.S. and European teams work together regularly, by developing a global practice which is ready to hit the ground running, we provide a strong offering for businesses with global interests and global challenges."

Sean Connolly, London Senior Partner added: "The combination of Clare, Simon and Matthew's experience with our established UK capability will create a potent force. We already have over 30 litigation partners in London across various disciplines, and are one of the largest litigation practices in the world. By bringing in this significant team, we intend to make sure we remain a real force to be reckoned with."

David Allen, London Head of Litigation said: "We are delighted that Clare, Simon and Matthew will be joining our litigation team in London. Their appointment will significantly enhance our existing expertise and is another step forward in the implementation of our litigation strategy in London."