Skadden Arps Slate Meagher & Flom’s international arbitration hiring battle with Allen & Overy has continued with Skadden hiring A&O partner Kate Davies QC for its London office.
Davies, who joins Skadden as a partner, became a partner at A&O in 2016 and was appointed QC in 2021.
The hire comes a matter of months after A&O hired a longstanding Skadden arbitration partner in London. David Herlihy left Skadden after over 19 years in March.
Davies has advised on disputes including the Abyei Arbitration, which lead to the independence of South Sudan, and has represented the Islamic Republic of Pakistan in several investment treaty disputes, according to her A&O profile.
David Kavanagh QC, global co-head of Skadden’s international disputes and arbitration practice, said: “Kate’s advocacy skills are a perfect fit with our leading practice. Our clients will benefit from her experience of working on complex cross-border disputes, across numerous sectors such as life sciences and TMT.
He added: “Following the retirement of Karyl Nairn QC early this year, Kate will play a significant role in the continued success of our practice.”
Skadden will have 33 partners in London when Davies starts in September.
For A&O, the loss of Davies follows the recent departure of another of its London international arbitration partners. Suzanne Spears, co-head of the firm’s global business and human rights practice, left in June.
In a statement, Allen & Overy said: “Kate Davies has decided to leave Allen & Overy. We would like to thank her for the contribution she has made during her time at the firm and wish her well.
“We continue to have a first class practice in London, with Mark Levy QC and James Freeman and which has been bolstered by the recent hire of David Herlihy from Skadden and the promotion of Guled Yusuf. Our top tier International Arbitration group has more than 150 lawyers across the Asia Pacific, EMEA and U.S. including 25 partners globally.”