UK giants bolster Brexit teams as May activates article 50

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With Brexit on its way after British Prime Minister Theresa May triggered article 50 last week, UK giants wasted no time shoring up their Brexit panels.

Strengthening their Brexit teams, Freshfield Bruckhaus Deringer and DLA Piper added two former high-ranking officials of the UK soon after May’s announcement.

Freshfields added Jonathan Hill, formerly the UK’s most senior diplomat in Brussels, while DLA hired Paul Hardy, who was previously the EU legal counsel of the House of Lords.

Hill, who is the UK’s former European commissioner for financial stability, financial services, and capital markets union, joins Freshfields as a senior adviser. Meanwhile, Hardy joins DLA as a legal director in April. He will be the firm’s lead Brexit specialist.

Hill left the government when the UK voted in favour of Brexit last year. Freshfields senior partner Ed Braham said that Hill brings vast experience and skill to the firm. In addition to being the UK’s European commissioner, he also led the House of Lords and was Chancellor of the Duchy of Lanchester.

Richard Bonnar, DLA’s Brexit committee chair, said in a statement that Brexit is a reality that the firm and its clients need to contend with.

“There's no doubt that it merits investment as part of our long-term strategy,” he said.

Hardy is a former legal adviser of the European Commission and former counsel for European legislation in the House of Commons.

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