Law Firm Partner Moves in London

March - April 2018

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Welcome to the latest round-up of lateral partner moves in the legal market from Edwards Gibson; where we look back at announced partner-level recruitment activity in London over the past two months and give you a ‘who’s moved where’ update.

In all, there was a total of 65 lateral partner moves announced in this round-up – 33% fewer than the same period last year and 14% fewer than the statistical average for the preceding five year period. This comes on the back of the 22% fall we reported in our last edition. Overall, in the first four months of 2018, the number of lateral partner moves in London is down 27% on 2017 – a drop only partially explained by the 2017 figures being artificially buoyed by the collapse of King & Wood Mallesons’ European verein.

Top partner recruiters in London March – April 2020 

Of note in this edition

  • A three partner move, including a former Head of Real Estate, from DLA Piper, linked to a much larger 50 lawyer ($100 million revenue) team move in the USA, launches a real estate offering by McDermott Will & Emery in London.
  • No fewer than five partner hires – nearly 8% of all recorded moves - were in White Collar Crime with two firms: Macfarlanes, and US firm Greenberg Traurig, launching their European offerings with significant named partners.
  • 20% of all recorded moves were laterals moving for partnership - with Kirkland & Ellis making three such acquisitions. Elsewhere, two partners moved from senior in-house roles into partnership.


Top partner recruiters in London March-April 2018:

Baker McKenzie 3
Druces 3
Kirkland & Ellis 3
McDermott Will & Emery 3


Whilst the number of moves in 2018 is sharply down on the (admittedly record number) we saw last year, it is too soon to determine if this is part of a wider slowdown. Nevertheless, it is interesting to note that, so established has the trend for lateral hiring in London become, that even when hitherto ultra-conservative lateral hirers such as Allen & Overy and Macfarlanes nab two partners apiece, the lack of novelty means that it no longer invokes quite the same comment it once would.

Addleshaw Goddard

Addleshaw Goddard has hired real estate finance specialist Zak Ikponmwosa. Ikponmwosa joins the firm from Clifford Chance, where he was a senior associate.


Allen & Overy

Allen & Overy has welcomed Paul Hastings payments lawyer Ben Regnard-Weinrabe and Kingsley Napley white collar crime lawyer Eve Giles. Regnard-Weinrabe works in financial services regulation and fintech with a particular specialism in consumer finance and retail banking matters; while Giles is an experienced criminal litigator who specialises in cases relating to international and domestic corruption.


Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer

Competition and arbitration lawyer Jane Wessel has joined US firm Arnold & Porter Kay Scholer from Shepherd & Wedderburn, following John Schmidt, who made the same move in December 2017. Wessel practises primarily in the areas of anti-trust litigation, and international commercial and investor state arbitration and has specialist experience of competition damages litigation.



Squire Patton Boggs partner Alison Hardy has joined Ashurst’s Dispute Resolution team while the firm has also bolstered its securities and derivatives offering by hiring Thomas Picton from Clifford Chance. Hardy, who was head of Squire Patton Boggs’ Property Litigation team, primarily advises technology companies, corporate occupiers and property companies on general real estate dispute matters. Picton, a securities specialist, joins as partner having been a senior associate at his previous firm.


Baker Botts

Baker Botts has hired Lewis Jones from Morgan, Lewis & Bockius. Jones specialises in energy transactions and has joined the firm’s Global Projects team.


Baker McKenzie

Baker McKenzie has hired three new partners to bolster its Structured Capital Markets and Banking and Finance practice. Structured capital markets specialist, and former White & Case Capital Markets practice head, Michael Doran, joins from boutique firm BlackLion Law. Finance lawyers Nick O’Grady and Bevis Metcalfe join as partners, having both previously been Of Counsel at Ropes & Gray.


Bevan Brittan

Bevan Brittan has hired construction lawyer Pippa Beesley from Mundays. Beesley’s work focuses on public sector led, large scale, development schemes.



US firm Bracewell has added to its finance team with the hire of Oliver Irwin from Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy. Irwin, who focuses his work on project, energy and infrastructure finance, joins as a partner, having been a senior associate at his previous firm.


Browne Jacobson

Real estate lawyer Susan Voice has joined Browne Jacobson from Royds Withy King. Voice’s work focuses primarily on commercial retail; including high street and luxury retailers, art galleries and charities.


Cadwalader, Wickersham & Taft

Cadwalader Wickersham & Taft has hired finance lawyer Sam Hutchinson from Dentons. Hutchinson advises lenders on a range of
financing products across all fund sectors.


Charles Russell Speechlys

Charles Russell Speechlys has bolstered its Real Estate practice with the hire of Melville Rodrigues from CMS. Rodrigues, who is a real estate funds specialist, also deals with transactional real estate matters.


Clyde & Co

Clyde & Co has expanded its Professional and Financial Disputes group with the hire of Jane Williams from Womble Bond Dickinson. Williams specialises in the defence of professional negligence claims, advising non-construction professionals and their insurers.


Covington & Burling

Covington & Burling has hired projects finance lawyer Robin Mizrahi from Baker Botts. Mizrahi works predominantly in the renewable energy and power sectors, advising on the development and financing of large projects.


DAC Beachcroft

DAC Beachcroft has bolstered its Corporate team with the appointment of partner Graeme Bell from Irish firm Mason Hayes & Curran. Bell, a private equity specialist, served as head of the London office at his previous firm.



Druces has gained three new partners as a result of recent merger with West End firm Ronaldsons. Dominic Traynor and Stephen Ronaldson join the firm’s Corporate department, with the trio being completed by commercial litigation partner Neil Hayter.



DWF has hired private capital lawyer Amanda Chapman from Brecher alongside regulatory lawyer Robbie Constance from RPC. Chapman, who will launch DWF’s new Private Capital team, advises a variety of private individuals, trustees and charities. Constance focuses his practice on financial services; particularly conduct regulation, proposition and distribution.


Edwin Coe

Edwin Coe has hired tax lawyer Andrew Terry from Withers and immigration lawyer Robert Sparks from Bishop & Sewell. Terry operates a broad corporate tax practice with focus on Russia and the CIS region. Sparks was head of immigration at Bishop & Sewell having joined that firm as part of the 2017 merger with Fisher Meredith.


Eversheds Sutherland

Eversheds Sutherland has acquired EU and competition lawyer Rod Lambert from Scottish firm Brodies. Lambert will split his time between the firm’s London and Brussels offices and will advise on anti-trust and trade sanctions matters.


Faegre Baker Daniels

DWF lawyer Richard Tall has joined the Corporate team of Faegre Baker Daniels. Tall advises on regulatory, financing, and transactional matters, with specific interest in the renewable energy and transport sectors.



Gateley has hired employment lawyer Gareth Wadley from Eversheds Sutherland and residential development lawyer Andrew King from Rawlinson Butler. Wadley, whose practice also incorporates immigration matters, had helped to initially establish Eversheds’ Immigration practice. King served as head of residential development at his previous firm and will join Gateley’s Housebuilding team.


Goodwin Procter

Goodwin Procter has launched a new Life Sciences practice with the acquisition of private equity duo Andrew Harrow and Graham Defries, from Dechert. Harrow and Defries, who are noted for their work in both the technology and life sciences sectors, arrive as part of a wider four lawyer move with two New York based Dechert partners.


Greenberg Traurig

Greenberg Traurig continues its dramatic London expansion with hire of Band 1 rated corporate crime and bribery expert Barry Vitou. Vitou, who was founder and head of Pinsent Masons’ Corporate Crime practice, joins to launch the firm’s white collar crime offering in London.



HFW has grown its Shipping practice with the addition of partner Nick Fisher. Fisher joins from his own firm, Fisher Solicitors, where he was the sole practitioner.







Herbert Smith Freehills

Herbert Smith Freehills has hired asset finance duo Rex Rosales and Jahnavi Ramachandran from Watson Farley Williams. Rosales and Ramachandran, whose work focuses primarily on transport and aviation respectively, relocate as part of a four partner move along with two partners from WFW’s Singapore office.


Hogan Lovells

Hogan Lovells has launched a new International Trade practice in London with the hire of Aline Doussin from Squire Patton Boggs. Doussin is an international trade lawyer whose work includes export control and sanctions, EU regulations and investigations, and public policy.


Joseph Hage Aaronson

Boutique litigation firm Joseph Hage Aarsonson has acquired Hogan Lovells disputes resolution lawyer Richard Kiddell. Kiddell is a specialist in international arbitration as well as other forms of alternative dispute resolution.


Katten Muchin Rosenman

US firm Katten has added to its corporate offering with the acquisition of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher’s Edward Tran. Tran, who operates a broad corporate and corporate real estate practice, also advises investors on their fund investments and co-investments. He joins as a partner having been Of Counsel at his previous firm.


Kirkland & Ellis

Kirkland & Ellis has hired three lawyers as new partners: Matthew Czyzyk, previously a senior associate at Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy, joins the restructuring team, while both Linklaters solicitor Sarah Thompson and Macfarlanes senior solicitor Romin Dabir join the firm’s regulatory practice. Czyzyk’s practice covers financial restructurings, lending transactions, and distressed and recovery situations. Thompson operates a broad practice in financial regulation matters while Dabir focuses his work on both the buy-side and sellside of the wholesale and retail sector.


Locke Lord

Locke Lord has hired white collar crime lawyer David Savell from K&L Gates. Savell’s expertise includes white collar criminal defence and investigation, regulatory investigations, and compliance matters.



Macfarlanes has hired two new partners; Eversheds Sutherland lawyer Neill Blundell and Debevoise & Plimpton’s Ceinwen Rees. Market leader Blundell headed Eversheds’ White Collar Crime team and has particular experience in cross border criminal matters (including investigations by the UK SFO and US Department of Justice), sanctions and regulatory matters. Rees, who was
International Counsel at Debevoise returns as a partner to Macfarlanes, where she trained. She will continue to operate a general corporate and transactional tax practice with a particular focus on private equity funds.


McCarthy Denning

McCarthy Denning has made two hires from inhouse, acquiring both corporate lawyer Stacey Kivel, formerly of Nor Energy SA, and energy lawyer Robin Storey from Sequa Petroleum N.V. Kivel maintains a focus within the energy industry, being noted particularly for her work in African oil exploration. Storey operates a broad energy practice, with experience in upstream, corporate, restructuring, financing, compliance and disputes.


McDermott Will & Emery

Chicago firm McDermott Will & Emery has launched a London real estate offering with the hiring of three partners from DLA. Real estate finance lawyer Laurence Rogers, corporate tax specialist Neville Wright, and commercial real estate lawyer Tom Calnan all join the US firm in London. Rogers, who operates a broad real estate finance practice, was formerly head of UK real estate at DLA. Wright advises on all aspects of corporate tax, with a particular focus on the real estate and finance sectors. Calnan has a broad investment and development practice.


Memery Crystal

Memery Crystal has hired private wealth specialist Hed Amitai from McGuireWoods and corporate lawyer Zarko Iankov from Dentons. Amitai’s practice focuses on asset structuring for capital tax planning and wealth preservation, and he joins to establish the firm’s new Wealth Structuring department. Iankov’s practice focuses on cross-border M&A and financial transactions, particularly in respect to emerging markets.


Mills & Reeve

Mills & Reeve has hired restructuring lawyer Neil Smyth from Taylor Wessing. Smyth focuses on mid-market restructuring and insolvency work, notably in the technology and real estate sectors.


Mischon de Reya

Litigation specialist Mark Davis has joined Mishcon de Reya's Dispute Resolution team as part of a merger with his own firm, Davis & Co. Davis, formerly a leading partner at Watson Farley Williams, practises across a broad range of industries.


Osborne Clarke

Osborne Clarke has gained financial services lawyer Simon Thomas from Macfarlanes. Thomas specialises in alternative investment funds, with particular emphasis on the hedge fund sector.


Pinsent Masons

Pinsent Masons has hired US lawyer Roberta Markovina, IP specialist Florian Traub and insolvency and restructuring lawyer Samantha Palmer from Herbert Smith Freehills, Squire Patton Boggs and Ashfords respectively. Markovina practises US securities law in the equity and debt capital markets arena and joins as a partner, having been a senior associate at HSF. Traub is a dual qualified English and German lawyer, specialising in brand protection strategies and portfolio management, who joins as head of
trademarks and brand protection, and to establish the firm’s new European Brand Portfolio Management team. Palmer specialises in
professional and financial risks and led that practice at her previous firm.



Russell-Cooke has expanded its Fraud and Criminal Litigation team with the hire of Pinsent Masons’ Kizzy Augustin. Augustin, a senior associate at her previous firm, specialises in health and safety; defending companies, senior directors and employees.


Sidley Austin

Sidley Austin has launched its new Life Sciences practice with the hire of Marie Manley from Bristows. Manley was head of the Life Science Regulatory team at Bristows and has significant experience advising clients in the chemical, medical devices, cosmetics and food sectors.


Simmons & Simmons

Simmons & Simmons has expanded its Derivatives and Structured Products group with the addition of Matthew Hebburn, formerly of Allen & Overy’s Singapore office. Hebburn has a broad practice, covering transactional, regulatory and advisory matters in connection with derivatives and derivative products, as well as derivatives disputes.


Stephenson Harwood

The first partner to move from US firm Goodwin Procter in London is real estate partner Catriona Berman, who has been hired by Stephenson Harwood. Berman advises on high-value real estate investment, development, and finance transactions.


Trowers & Hamlins

Corporate partner Edward Hooper has joined Trowers & Hamlins from Taylor Vinters alongside Berwin Leighton Paisner (now Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner) private wealth lawyer Jonathan Kropman. Hooper primarily deals with AIM and Main Market corporate transactions. Kropman had served as head of private wealth at BLP and takes up the same position now in his new home.


Willkie Farr & Gallagher

Willkie Farr & Gallagher has grown its Litigation and Compliance, Investigations and Enforcement Practice with the addition of Simon Osborne- King, who will join as a partner having previously been an associate at Slaughter and May. His practice focuses on complex regulatory and internal investigations, and enforcement proceedings.


White & Case

White & Case has hired corporate partner Mike Weir from Jones Day. Weir focuses on private equity work, with a particular emphasis on the real estate and technology sectors.



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