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Revolving doors: Ashurst and King & Spalding expand transactional teams

There was a transactional theme to this week’s lateral partner recruitment, as Ashurst, King & Spalding, Pinsent Masons and Squire Patton Boggs (SPB) all made strategic hires, while Michelmores added a number of partners.

Seasoned private equity specialist François Hellot has joined Ashurst’s Paris office after a 12-year partnership stint at Dechert. Hellot is particularly noted for his work in the telecoms, health and biotechnology sectors, and has assisted clients on both French domestic and international matters.

Ashurst’s global head of corporate, Jason Radford, hailed Hellot as ‘an outstanding addition’ to the firm’s European corporate roster, ‘given his depth of experience in complex private equity and telecoms transactions across Europe and Africa.’ He added: ‘This combination is unique in the French market and aligns directly with Ashurst’s priority sectors for investment and focus.’

Meanwhile, King & Spalding has hired Benoit Lavigne as a partner to its London corporate, finance and investments (CFI) practice. Arriving from Morrison & Foerster, Lavigne regularly assists underwriters and borrowers on an array of complex, cross-border finance matters, including acquisition finance, general corporate lending, asset-based lending, restructurings and workouts.

‘Benoit is someone our team has worked with for years and gives us significant additional depth in our private credit and leveraged finance practice,’ said Todd Holleman, leader of the firm’s CFI practice. ‘Benoit’s experience with sophisticated private credit funds and the fact that he already works with many of our mutual clients will allow us to deliver a more fulsome offering for both UK-led and sophisticated international finance mandates.’

SPB has strengthened its Washington DC office by appointing Baker McKenzie’s former global director of business management, Michael Kaye. At Baker McKenzie, Kaye was operationally responsible for the firm’s ‘advisory’ and ‘contentious’ business units, which combined make up over 60% of the firm’s global revenue.

In his new role, Kaye will act as a partner in SPB’s international trade practice, drawing on decades of experience handling international trade remedy cases in Washington DC as both a government lawyer and in private practice.

On his move, Kaye commented: ‘The firm’s extensive global reach makes it an ideal place to represent multinational clients and they are also one of the few major law firms with strong commodity and shipping practices for both corporate and dispute resolution.’

In Australia, Pinsent Masons has recruited Norton Rose Fulbright property and infrastructure partner Deanne Ogilvie to its Sydney office.

Ogilvie has a particular focus on large scale logistics infrastructure and transport projects covering a wide range of disciplines including joint venture arrangements, procurement, and property development including tenure and management regimes as well as mixed use schemes. She has advised numerous high-profile global and multinational businesses including Australia’s largest integrated provider of import and export logistics services Qube, Hassad, and Amazon. Most recently, she advised Qube on the development and operation of the Moorebank Logistics Park project including an associated private rail line and warehouse estate development and has advised Western Sydney Airport with regards to the grant of airport leases.

Global head of infrastructure at Pinsent Masons, Ian Laing, said: ‘Deanne will play a vital role in advancing our multinational sector-led approach and brings extensive experience advising both public and private sector clients on major transportation and infrastructure projects.  As such, she will further embed our ties with multinational developers and investors in several key sectors for our global business.’

Finally, Michelmores has overseen a significant expansion this week, hiring three new partners to bolster its ranks. Marie-Louise King, who joins from Winckworth Sherwood, is a commercial litigator with a particular focus on breach of contract claims, company and shareholder disputes, disputes arising out of corporate transactions and contentious insolvency.

Also joining is Kate Gardner from Clarke Willmott – an experienced employment adviser with expertise in agricultural employment law and knowledge of farming businesses and landed estates. Philip Barth, formerly a partner at Irwin Mitchell, becomes Michelmores’ new head of immigration. He specialises in all aspects of immigration and citizenship law and has been involved with the government’s approach to immigration issues post-Brexit.

Colette Stevens, HR director at Michelmores, said: ‘Increasing female representation at partnership level continues to be of strategic importance to us, and whilst there is always more work to be done to promote gender parity, these new recruits are a genuine cause for celebration.’