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Revolving Doors: A&O makes US leveraged finance play as Latham strengthens Middle East offering

A number of Global 100 firms have made key hires from each other internationally in a busy week for lateral recruitment.

Allen & Overy has strengthened its US leveraged finance practice by adding two new partners in New York. Gordon Mak and Stanimir Kostov have joined A&O as partners from White & Case, where they worked in its debt finance and private credit & direct lending practices, respectively. Mak was a partner at W&C, while Kostov was counsel. The announcement follows the recent hiring of A&O’s head of US leveraged finance Jake Mincemoyer, in February.

Mincemoyer said: ‘These hires are a continuation of our plan to deepen our bench of highly experienced and commercial leveraged finance lawyers in order to meet the growing demand for such service across the syndicated lending and private credit markets. I look forward to continuing to grow our leveraged finance practice as A&O further expands its US offering.’

Latham & Watkins, meanwhile, has made a significant hire in the Middle East, recruiting Vinson & Elkins’ former Dubai managing partner Ahmed el-Gaili. Based in Latham’s cooperating law firm in Riyadh, the Law Office of Salman M. Al-Sudairi, el-Gaili brings significant expertise in big ticket M&A as well as large scale energy projects in Saudi Arabia and across the region.

‘The Saudi market represents a significant source of outbound global investment, particularly in dynamic, fast-growing areas like energy, infrastructure, technology, and financial services,’ said Charles Ruck, global chair of Latham’s corporate department. ‘Our cooperating law firm in Saudi Arabia has an impressive track record advising on high-profile domestic and cross-border transactions, and adding Ahmed to the team is an important milestone.’

Cooley has made an important addition to its Brussels office, adding Elisabethann Wright from Hogan Lovells, where she co-led its European Union life sciences regulatory practice. Wright has more than 35 years of experience in private practice and international governmental organisations, and helps clients place and keep their pharmaceutical, medical device and food products on the European Union market through strategic advice, advocacy before institutions and agencies, and litigation before EU courts.

‘Elisabethann is a rare talent among lawyers specialising in EU law and the regulation of pharmaceuticals and medical devices,’ said Kay Chandler, chair of Cooley’s life sciences industry practice. ‘She brings to our team market-leading legislative knowledge, technical skill and commercial acumen that enhance our support for life sciences and innovative healthcare clients as they continue to develop and commercialise regulated products across the globe.’

Jones Day has bolstered its Paris offering with the arrival of Jean-Guillaume de Tocqueville from Gide Loyrette Nouel, where he was a partner and head of its financial services practice. He advises banking and financial institutions on regulatory matters and financial markets regulations and litigation, including banking, investment services and investment management issues. He also advises clients on market abuse, financial crime and international sanctions issues. At Jones Day, he will assist French and international banks and other financial institutions with their structural, regulatory, operational and compliance issues.

‘I have known Jean-Guillaume for 25 years and have always been impressed by his professionalism, his network and his ability to advise boards, leaders and top managers on the most complex issues. He has built the best reputation as a skilled lawyer with a deep understanding of how financial institutions and regulators operate in France and in Europe,’ said Alban Caillemer du Ferrage, chair of Jones Day’s financial markets practice for the EMEA and APAC regions.

In London, CMS structured finance veteran Neil Hamilton has joined US firm FisherBroyles. With over 25 years’ experience in securitisation and structured finance and recognised as a Leading Individual for structured products and securitisation in Legal 500, Hamilton was previously a partner at Clifford Chance for 12 years and was a partner at both Paul Hastings and Jones Day.

He acts for arrangers, originators, collateral managers, and servicers with vast experience in a variety of securitisation asset classes, including CLOs, auto loans, RMBS and trade receivables. He also advises on structured products such as repackagings and total return swaps.

DLA Piper has announced the appointment of Addleshaw Goddard funds partner Jonny Powling to its corporate practice in London. He had been a partner at Addleshaw since 2016 and has extensive experience advising all market participants on private fund matters and acts for a broad range of clients including both managers and investors on fund establishment, fund structuring, primary and secondary fund investments, co-investments and secondary sales and purchases.

Also in London, Dechert has continued to expand its global financial restructuring group with the addition of Jones Day partner Kay Morley. She advises hedge funds and other distressed investors on the acquisition of loan portfolios and the implementation of loan-to-own strategies. She also regularly represents debtors in distress and private equity portfolio companies and advises insolvency practitioners on domestic and offshore situations.

Morley will be the group’s second significant hire in London this year following the arrival of partner Adam Plainer as global co-chair of the financial restructuring group in March.

Finally, transfer pricing specialist Stephanie Pantelidaki has rejoined Baker McKenzie as head of financial services transfer pricing in the firm’s tax practice. She joins from PwC, where she was a partner in both its UK and Switzerland offices. She originally was a director at Bakers until 2009, when she joined KPMG, before becoming a partner at PwC in 2013.