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Revolving Doors: Baker Botts takes Kirkland capital markets partner in Houston as Cooley adds tax partner and DLA makes litigation play in LA

City laterals stayed quiet last week continuing a recent hiatus while the US was the centre of attention internationally with DLA Piper, Baker Botts and Cooley all making hires across the Atlantic.

US laterals defined last week’s international recruitment round, with Baker Botts leading the way with a strategic hire from American powerhouse Kirkland & Ellis. Capital markets partner Justin Hoffman joined the firm in its Houston office, after spending two years as a partner at Kirkland.

Hoffman’s practice focuses on debt and equity capital market transactions, as well as corporate governance and compliance. Speaking to Legal Business, Hoffman explained the rationale for his move.

‘Baker Botts is a very established name in Houston. It has a very broad corporate practice, representing both issuers and underwriters. My practice is a perfect fit here.’

Moving to the West Coast, in Los Angeles Cooley further expanded its global tax practice with the hire of Alexander Lee from McDermott Will & Emery. Lee had previously spearheaded McDermott’s tax practice as a partner and focuses his practice on national and global transactional tax matters as well as private mergers and acquisitions.

‘Alexander’s deep knowledge of international transactional tax work further strengthens Cooley’s offerings for established industry giants and disruptive startups alike,’ said Mike Lincoln, chair of Cooley’s global business department. ‘Alexander has the wealth of experience needed to meet increasingly complex tax demands on large, cross-border deals.’

Rounding off the US moves, DLA also made a play in Los Angeles, announcing the hire of Levi Heath from Barnes & Thornburg where he had worked since 2011. As a partner at Barnes, Heath focused on civil and commercial litigation, including toxic tort and product liability defence. Heath will now boost the litigation capabilities of DLA on the West Coast where the firm has made a series of hires after completing a merger with Los Angeles-based boutique Liner last October.

Dentons meanwhile added to its Scottish bench with a hire in Glasgow, as Roddy Harrison joins the firm’s private client and charities team in the UK tax department. Harrison arrives at Dentons from BTO Solicitors where he headed the private client practice and was a partner for over 15 years. He has experience advising private clients and high net worth individuals on personal and business matters, including capital taxes planning and estate planning.