Legal Business Blogs

Reed Smith takes on finreg team as KWM exits continue

US firm Reed Smith is the latest to hire from King & Wood Mallesons (KWM) European practice, taking on the bulk of the firm’s financial regulation team. It is also in discussions with a number of other partners in Europe.

The team is led by partner David Calligan and includes several other partners in the London office.

Calligan joined SJ Berwin in 1989 from The Securities Association and now acts principally for banks, broker dealers and investment management firms.

It is understood that Reed Smith’s global managing partner Sandy Thomas has flown to London to participate in talks with partners from the legacy SJ Berwin practice.

Reed Smith’s managing partner in Europe and Middle East Tamara Box (pictured) said in a statement: ‘I confirm that we continue to have positive discussions with a number of impressive European KWM partners. We remain committed to investing in top legal talent and, at this time, are optimistic that we will be joined in 2017 by some great ex-KWM lawyers.’

She added: ‘As you will appreciate, however, negotiations continue and we have our own usual protocols and processes to follow around such potential hires. At this time, I am unable to confirm any definitive hires,’ she added.

The news comes as today (21 November) City firm Macfarlanes made a triple lateral hire with three partners from KWM, taking on Tom Usher, Cameron Firth and Christoph Humpe, and the KWM’s former European senior partner Stephen Kon as a consultant.

Partners have been peeling away from the legacy SJ Berwin practice after the partnership, which is carrying more than £30m in debt, failed to agree to a recapitalisation plan in November.

K&L Gates and Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe have also taken on a number of lawyers from KWM’s Munich office, while one of KWM’s top billers Craig Pollack and part of his team are to join Covington & Burling.

DLA Piper will take on real estate partner William Naunton and several members of his team including partners Cornelius Medvei, Bryan Pickup, Ed Page, George Burrha and Jeremy Brooks. Managing associate Omer Maroof will also join as a partner, alongside eight other lawyers and three trainees.

Tax partner Clive Jones will join Greenberg Traurig, alongside top biller Steve Cowins and Marc Snell, M&A partners Michael Goldberg and David Fitzgerald and partner Matthew Priday along with their teams.

Read more on KWM in ‘Comment: The moment of truth arrives in the SJ Berwin saga’

For an in-depth assessment of KWM, subscribers can see our July cover feature ‘Branded’