Legal Business Blogs

Dechert bolsters European funds team with key City and Dublin hires

Dechert has ramped up investment in its European funds business with a pair of hires, including Marianna Tothova in London from Ashurst.

The hire of Tothova, which comes amid a pacey recruitment drive for the US firm in London in recent months, coincides with that of Carol Widger from Maples and Calder as the managing partner of its Dublin office.

Luxembourg-qualified Tothova will work in Dechert’s London and Luxembourg branches and is focused on private funds. Most recently counsel at Ashurst in London, she previously worked in the investment management group at Linkaters and is experienced in the structuring of regulated and unregulated investment funds and regulatory issues.

Widger, meanwhile,  specialises in advising fund promoters and fund managers on the creation and management of investment fund in a career spanning 20 years. She is a former chair of Irish Fund’s legal working group and is the current chair and founding member of the Dublin location for 100 Women in Finance. Dechert lays claim to having the first major onshore transatlantic funds practice in Dublin.

Dechert’s financial services group spans the key European funds domiciles of UK, Luxembourg, Ireland, France and Germany, as well as the US, Middle East and Asia. The firm represents 23 of the world’s top 25 largest global asset management firms and 41 of the top 50 private debt firms.

Gus Black, global co-chair of the firm’s financial services group, said of the hires: ‘Many of our clients have business spanning Ireland and Luxembourg, and these appointments signal our commitment to both of these important fund centres as well as our jurisdiction-neutral advice model.’

Black told Legal Business: ‘We absolutely plan to hire more funds specialists. This is part of a growth strategy and there is strong demand in Europe and clear potential to add to our bench across jurisdictions. Funds represents one fifth of the firm globally, both in headcount and revenue. It is a huge part of our DNA.’

He added that the firm views London as a key growth centre and an important strategic location for investment, irrespective of Brexit, promising more laterals in 2019.

The firm last month sustained its recent investment drive in London with the promotion to partner of three in the City amid a 16-strong global round . The move was Dechert’s biggest UK investment for some time, having made up only one City partner last year and bypassing London altogether the year before.

Recent lateral hires in London have included Sidley Austin’s local co-head of disputes Dorothy Cory-Wright to head up its commercial disputes practice last July. The previous month, former senior US federal prosecutor Roger Burlingame joined from Kobre & Kim, while in September, Hogan Lovells lost its highly-rated private equity partner Robert Darwin to Dechert’s corporate and life sciences team.

Dechert recorded 2017 revenues of $977.9m in a seventh consecutive year of growth and now has around 1,000 lawyers across its 27 offices globally.