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More leadership changes at Freshfields as Embley and Herman made M&A co-heads

Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer has rejigged the leadership of its heavyweight M&A practice, appointing London-based Bruce Embley and New York-based Matthew Herman as its new global M&A co-heads.

Corporate partner Embley (pictured) has recently advised Anheuser-Busch InBev on the divestments of SAB Miller’s European and eastern European beer brands to Asahi, ahead of the two beer giants’ mega merger last year. His clients include HSBC, Permira, Reinet, General Dynamics, TPG and the Qatar Investment Authority.

Herman joined Freshfields in 2003 as an associate from Brobeck, Phleger & Harrison. He has advised clients such as Henderson Group, Sysco Corporation, Japan Tobacco, Dubai Aerospace Enterprise, Mast-Jägermeister and Foster Wheeler.

The pair, who started their roles in December last year, replace Peter Lyons, who became regional managing partner for the Americas, and Ben Spiers, who confirmed he would leave the Magic Circle firm for Simpson Thacher & Bartlet in November last year.

Following their appointments Embley told Legal Business the duo had been focusing on issues for cross border deals.

He said: ‘The main issue that everyone’s trying to get their heads around is has the world become a slightly more protectionist place, and what does that mean for cross border deals? On the whole, domestic deals don’t tend to get influenced by protectionism but cross border deals tend to involve a wider variety of issues.’

‘What does that all mean? It’s pretty complicated because much cross border investment will remain highly welcome, but some I suspect is going to be increasingly harder to achieve.’

Piers Prichard Jones and Jennifer Bethlehem will continue on as London co-heads of M&A.

The firm’s global financial investors sector group also received a new head with private equity head Adrian Maguire taking on the role from heavyweight David Higgins.

The move comes as Linklaters has changed its corporate leadership, as Aedamar Comiskey was made global head of the Magic Circle firm’s corporate division. Comiskey, who had put her name in the ring for senior partner but lost to Charlie Jacobs, recently reshuffled its corporate team to bring through its next generation of corporate lawyers.

Read more on the City’s leading corporate teams in: ‘The M&A Report: To have and to have not’