Legal Business Blogs

EY hires Freshfields’ Richard Norbruis to head global transaction group

EY has made its third senior private practice hire in three months months with the announcement that Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer partner Richard Norbruis is to lead the accountancy giant’s global transaction law practice.

The Amsterdam-based corporate and M&A lawyer has been a partner at Freshfields for nearly 15 years, after joining from the New York office of NautaDutilh where he was managing partner. Since May 2011, he has acted as Freshfields’ global people partner with responsibility for recruitment, retention, diversity, partner development and leadership.

The hire constitutes the third high profile lateral EY has made in recent months, most recently following the appointment of Berwin Leighton Paisner’s (BLP’s) former head of finance Matthew Kellett to spearhead EY’s financial services legal work. Kellett, who resigned from the top 20 firm last October, is due to start at EY in September.

In March it recruited Addleshaw Goddard’s corporate managing partner Philip Goodstone in one of the first steps towards boosting its UK legal capability via lateral hiring.

The appointment of longstanding Addleshaws partner Goodstone, whose previous clients include Admiral Taverns, Accrue Capital, The Cooperative Group, and Standard Life Investments, marked a step change by the Big Four accountant, which since last year has been considering its options for expansion under the Legal Services Act 2007, including acquiring an alternative business structure (ABS) licence.

Last year also saw EY hire the former managing partner of Freehills’ Singapore office, John Dick; a precursor to its expansion plans in the region, as in March EY formally announced plans to expand its legal services business throughout Asia over the coming year.

EY has previously said it is looking to expand its offering across Singapore, Vietnam, Hong Kong, Korea and Indonesia, subject to regulatory requirements.