Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has strengthened its regulatory practice with the appointment of DLA Piper's financial services litigation expert Daren Allen.

Allen has been appointed as partner in BLP's London disputes team. In DLA Piper he served as a partner and is best known for advising financial institutions and large corporations on complex regulatory and financial crime investigations, litigation and enforcement proceedings until his departure at the end of December last year.

Allen specializes in advising on fraud, corruption and money laundering. He also acted for the Joint Money Laundering Steering Group on the 2006 revised Guidance Notes for the financial sector.

The new regulatory landscape will bring with it a whole set of new challenges for those in the financial sector. To meet these challenges, clients need both a breadth and quality of financial service expertise, Allen said.

Working with the team at BLP offers a real opportunity to grow the banking litigation and investigations business and help clients address the pressing issues around financial crime, he said.

Daren is going to add significant depth and expertise to our already strong financial services expertise. Corporate and financial crime is high on the agenda of our financial institution clients and Daren is a market-leading authority in this area, said Nathan Willmott, BLP's commercial dispute resolution head.

Allen's appointment is the latest strategic decision made by BLP. Last October, BLP strengthened its employment litigation practice group by hiring Lisa Mayhew from Jones Day. Recently, the firm also hired real estate disputes expert Michael Metliss and James Knox, one of the UK's most highly regarded real estate lawyers.