Legal Business Blogs

CC loses City finance partner to Milbank as Pinsents benefits from German exits with IP hire

Pinsent Masons has become the latest firm to benefit from the on-going travails of Clifford Chance’s (CC) German offering with intellectual property (IP) partner Marc Holtorf leaving the Magic Circle firm’s Munich offices while in London, Milbank, Tweed, Hadley & McCloy hired asset finance partner Nick Swinburne.

Holtorf, whose exit comes after a strategic review by German head Peter Dieners and multiple partner departures, moved to Munich from Dusseldorf in 2013 as part of another restructure of the Magic Circle firm’s German practice. He has focused on the life sciences, energy and retail sectors as well as advising on structuring and implementing IT and technology projects.

Having been made up to partner at CC in 2007, Holtorf will be Pinsents’ sixth lateral in Germany since opening in 2012 and thirteenth partner in the country.

Commenting on the appointment, Florian von Baum, Pinsents’ Munich head of IP/IT and outsourcing said: ‘Marc’s appointment demonstrates our commitment to further strengthening our pan-European offering at a time when current developments in patent law, such as the establishment of the Unified Patent Court, bring uncertainty for many clients.’

Holtorf joins a string of departures from CC’s German operations including co-private equity head Oliver Felsenstein to Latham & Watkins, longstanding capital markets partner Markus Pfüller to SZA Schilling, Zutt & Anschütz, trademark head Thorsten Vormann to K&L Gates and German corporate chief Arndt Stengel to Milbank.

Today (17 June), Milbank also announced a further hire from CC with Nick Swinburne joining its transportation and space practice as London co-head alongside James Cameron. Swinburne, who is recommended in The Legal 500, specialises in aviation and shipping deals. He joined CC in 1998 as a trainee and became partner a decade later. Standout work has included advising Ansett Worldwide Aviation Services (AWAS), one of the world’s largest aircraft leasing companies, on its first Japanese operating lease in 2013.

Milbank’s global transportation and space chief Drew Fine said: ‘Nick’s arrival marks a significant step in the continued growth of our European practice. His considerable experience in aviation and shipping, coupled with Milbank’s global capabilities, are sure to have great benefits for our transportation clients as we further grow this practice.’