Legal Business Blogs

Reed Smith poised to take more KWM heavyweights in Europe as Proskauer hires in London

Reed Smith continues its quest to recruit King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) partners in Europe and is in talks with corporate heavyweight Mark Sanders in London and a leading trio in Paris.

M&A specialist Sanders, Paris co-head of funds Arnaud David, head of tax Sylvie Vansteenkiste and head of EU, competition and regulatory Marc Levy are all in talks with the US firm. All four partners are among legacy SJ Berwin’s top billers, having raked in nearly £6.5m together last year.

When hiring is complete it is expected Reed Smith will have taken on the largest group of partners from the global giant’s beleaguered European arm. The US firm is talking to other partners in France, Germany and London, and has been targeting practices such as financial regulation, funds, tax and private equity. It is understood the talks are at due diligence stage.

Among his key mandates, Sanders played a role in the £2.4bn sale of a stake in data giant Global Switch to a consortium of Chinese investors in December 2016.

David is co-head of funds, and his work includes buyout, infrastructure, mezzanine, debt, fund of funds, venture, corporate, real estate and special focus funds.

Vansteenkiste is one of the founding members of SJ Berwin’s Paris office and head of tax, with 20 years’ experience in complex tax structuring of investment funds.

Levy is head of the EU, competition & regulatory department. He joined SJ Berwin as a partner in 2003 and was elected a member of the Paris management committee in 2012.

Most recently, Reed Smith was also reported to be taking on the bulk of the firm’s financial regulation team in London led by partner David Calligan.

Reed Smith Europe and Middle East managing partner Tamara Box (pictured) said: ‘We confirm that we continue to progress with very positive discussions with a number of impressive European KWM partners. As you would expect from a global law firm of the size and calibre of Reed Smith, we have very robust processes in place which focus on strategic alignment and strong integration with all new partners or teams who join our firm. While we therefore still have some work to do internally to ensure all that our own procedures are fully satisfied, we remain optimistic about the potential opportunities for us to grow in London, Frankfurt, Munich and Paris through these discussions.’

Meanwhile, Proskauer Rose announced today (9 January) that it has hired tax partner Stephen Pevsner from KWM Europe. Pevsner will join Proskauer’s London tax practice, and he focuses on UK and international M&A and private equity transactions, corporate reorganisations, and new business formations. He follows in the footsteps of former managing partner Rob Day and finance partner Andrew Wingfield, who also joined Proskauer last year.

KWM’s European arm is expected to file another intention of notice to appoint administrators today, giving the firm’s various suitors more time to finalise deals to take on parts of the legacy business, including agreements about work in progress within already announced large team moves, including DLA Piper, Greenberg Traurig, Reed Smith and KWM’s Chinese arm.

For more on King & Wood Mallesons, subscribers can read ‘Branded’ for an in-depth look at the firm