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Revolving doors: Akin Gump adds to levfin bench as Eversheds and TLT hire disputes partners

In a week that saw firms on high alert due to coronavirus, the City lateral market has maintained a steady pace as Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld appointed a finance partner and both Eversheds Sutherland and TLT added to their dispute resolution benches.

Akin Gump added leveraged finance partner Amy Kennedy from Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher in London. Kennedy represents private equity sponsors in leveraged buyouts, as well as banks and other financial institutions. She has worked in sectors including oil and gas, telecoms, real estate and retail.

Akin Gump’s chairperson Kim Koopersmith (pictured) told Legal Business: ‘Amy represents the latest stellar addition to our London office, which has seen tremendous growth over the past year. In particular, her leveraged finance-focused practice will slot in very well with our existing strengths in the private equity space. We know the value that someone with Amy’s background and skillset can bring to our private equity clients.’

Meanwhile, Eversheds appointed accountancy investigations and financial services partner Kari McCormick to its financial services disputes and investigations group in London. She joined from Burges Salmon where she was head of the firm’s financial services sector group and partner in the firm’s dispute resolution team.

McCormick advises accountants and auditors on liability disputes, regulatory investigations and risk management. She also represents financial institutions in disputes and regulatory issues including enforcement action.

UK head of financial disputes and investigations at Eversheds Chris Busby told Legal Business: ‘The need for sound, experienced legal advice on auditing regulations has never been more prominent. Investigations by the Financial Reporting Council are becoming increasingly robust, in particular around businesses which fail where auditing was not conducted properly.

‘Couple this with the expected overhaul of the audit and accounting regulations to be announced in the coming weeks, Kari McCormick’s appointment is especially timely,’ added Busby.

Elsewhere, TLT hired partner Craig Thompson from commercial law firm Wallace to its commercial dispute resolution practice in London.

Thompson acts for UK and international clients on cross-border disputes with a particular focus on technology disputes, professional negligence claim, civil fraud and competition litigation. He has experience in clean energy, digital, financial services, leisure, food & drink, real estate and retail & consumer goods.

Head of commercial dispute resolution at TLT Chris Owen told Legal Business: ‘Craig is a strong addition to our CDR team and a key part of building a full service offering in London. We are increasingly being instructed by our clients on high value, complex commercial disputes often with a cross border element and he brings some very relevant experience to the firm, including in several of our key sectors.’

Morrison & Foerster hired partner Sophie Allen from EY to its tax practice. Allen advises on the tax aspects of private equity and M&A transactions.

MoFo managing partner for Europe Paul Friedman commented: ‘Sophie is an impressive lawyer with a great reputation in the market and is well-connected within the private equity community. Sophie’s joining adds to our tax bench strength in London and globally, and will contribute to supporting our clients’ transactional needs in London.’

Allen will join recent recruits Matthew Dunlap from Latham & Watkins and Gareth Rees and Hayley Ichilcik from King & Spalding.

Finally, Gowling WLG added to its real estate bench with the appointment of partner Sylvain Canard-Volland in Paris. He advises on transactions involving the acquisition or disposal of properties, the negotiation or renegotiation of leases as well as on construction and real estate litigation.

Managing partner of the Gowling Paris office Frederic Dereux commented: ‘We had been looking for the right partner to lead our real estate department, and Sylvain’s vision and notably entrepreneurial approach stood him apart. His arrival supports the global growth of our office.’