Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Akin Gump strengthens trade practice in London, while Mayer Brown expands pensions

In a busier week for laterals, US firms Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Mayer Brown strengthened their London benches, while several UK firms including Shepherd and Wedderburn, Clyde & Co and Ince & Co target growth in Scotland, China and Singapore, respectively.

Akin Gump announced Jasper Helder as the latest addition to its City office. Specialising in international trade and corporate compliance matters, he joins Akin Gump from Baker & McKenzie where he headed their EUMEA trade and commerce practice. He has particular experience in Russia and the Middle East advising on EU and UN sanctions compliance for Iran, Russia and Syria.

Also in London, Mayer Brown hired Jay Doraisamy from Dentons as a partner in the pensions practice. Before Dentons, she was the head of London pensions at Eversheds and her 22 years’ experience includes funding, benefit redesign projects, scheme closures and amendments, and defined benefit/contribution schemes across sectors such as energy, banking, transport, chemicals, manufacturing and water.

Meanwhile, UK firm Shepherd and Wedderburn grew in Scotland this week through acquiring north-east boutique firm The Commercial Law Practice (CLP) and with it partners Mike Anderson and Keir Willox who will join Shepherd and Wedderburn in Aberdeen, and Ma’aruf Razzak who will become a director. The firm re-entered the Aberdeen market earlier this year hiring John Rutherford, previously at Pinsent Masons and former managing partner of Mackinnons Charles Scott.

Also expanding internationally, Clyde & Co’s joint law venture (JLV) in China, Clyde & Co Westlink, appointed new corporate and M&A partner Yang Liu from HaoLiWen Partners. Alongside corporate transactions, Liu also has experience in shipping, international trade and logistics.

Clyde & Co Shanghai partner Michael Cripps, said: ‘Clyde & Co is one of the very few international law firms that have been approved by the Ministry of Justice to establish a formal joint law venture in China, and with the arrival of Yang I believe we can further leverage on his expertise to boost our corporate strength in the market.’

Also in Asia, UK law firm Ince & Co this week added Nicholas Lum to its benches, to lead the firm’s China practice in Singapore. He joins the team as a disputes partner in shipping and international trade from Oon & Bazul.

Recognised by The Legal 500, he focuses on international trade and commodities, shipping and shipbuilding and general commercial disputes. His appointment follows Ince’s recent expansion, with a total of 22 new partners globally in the last 18 months, including 12 new hires.