Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: A quiet week for hires in the City sees firms making lateral moves abroad

City recruitment remained quiet last week as international hires continued to dominate, with Eversheds Sutherland being among the few to make key additions domestically, while the firm saw departures internationally.

Eversheds bolstered its employment capability with the hire of Sophie White from boutique firm Abbiss Cadres. Previously White had spent 13 years at CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang and possesses experience in real estate, healthcare, financial services and private equity.
Paul Fontes, head of Eversheds’ employment team in London, believes White’s ‘wide ranging sector experience and technical legal capability complement the many strengths within our existing team.’

Meanwhile Fieldfisher made moves domestically with the hire of Charlotte Round as the firm’s first Manchester-based banking partner. Round joins the firm from the finance team of regional firm Brabners, where she had been for 10 years.

The hire sees Fieldfisher’s Manchester headcount increase to 123 as the firm continue to expand in the city. Ian Austin, managing partner of the Fieldfisher Manchester office, heralded the hire, commenting: ‘Charlotte joining us is another coup for Fieldfisher in a series of excellent recent hires. The addition of a banking partner is adds to the growth of our Manchester office, both in terms of headcount and services.’

Hogan Lovells was among those who made strategic additions in a busier international recruitment round. Marek Grodek joins the firm from Greenberg Traurig and will head up Hogan Lovells’ real estate practice in Poland. Grodek had previously led Greenberg’s real estate practice, having been a partner at the firm since 2012.

Elsewhere in the Asia, DWF announced a spate of hires in Australia as the UK firm prepares to launch a fourth office in the country. Corporate partner Mark Hickey will join the firm from Australia’s Sparke Helmore, where he had served as chairman. Hickey will play a key role in launching DWF’s new base in Newcastle, New South Wales, while also serving as chair of the firm’s Asia-Pacific practice.

The exodus from Sparke Helmore will see Hickey joined by four other partners. Banking and finance partners Adam Fuller and Ben Burney will join in Sydney, while corporate partners David Reid and Vi-Ky Lam will join in Newcastle and Sydney respectively. DWF also secured the hire of restructuring and insolvency partner Kirsten Farmer, who joins from HWL Ebsworth.

Commenting on the hires, DWF CEO Andrew Leaitherland said: ‘Australia is an important market and a key growth area for us and while it is no doubt a competitive landscape, there is a real opportunity to do things differently and deliver more value for clients.’

Elsewhere in Asia, Bird & Bird strengthened its China practice with the hire of James Fong from Mayer Brown. Fong has experience of advising on corporate finance matters, and will work under corporate team head Wing On Chui.

Justin Walkey, chair of Asia-Pacific at Bird & Bird, lauded the hire. ‘A key part of our growth strategy in China is to boost our transactional work but also to build on the firm’s regional client base,’ he said.

Meanwhile in the US, DLA Piper  has lost two more partners, following the recent exit of more than 20 partners to McDermott Will & Emery . This time, the departures come in private equity, with practice co-chair Steven Napolitano and fellow private equity partner Brendan Head. The pair are set to join Kirkland & Ellis.

The Middle East also saw activity, as Pinsent Masons enhanced its finance & projects practice with a double hire from Eversheds. Tim Armsby had been a in Abu Dhabi, where he served as head of energy & infrastructure for the Middle East.  Meanwhile, Gurmeet Kaur will join Armsby in Dubai, having also left Eversheds after spending 10 years in the Middle East with the firm.

Michael Watson, global group head of finance and projects at Pinsent Masons, commented on the hires, saying: ‘both Tim and Gurmeet will bring with them fantastic experience. This will further cement our position and develop our capability as leaders in the infrastructure and energy markets in the region and globally.’