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Revolving doors: Bird & Bird, Bond Dickinson and Simmons all make lateral moves

The appetite shown by global elite firms to hire laterally at the start of the year has spread wider in the City, as Bird & Bird, Bond Dickinson, Simmons & Simmons and US firm Sedgwick have all been in action recently.

Bird & Bird secured the hire of partner Sven-Michael Werner from rival firm Taylor Wessing to its China corporate practice. Werner, who speaks Mandarin, has over 12 years’ experience practising Chinese law and will be based at the firm’s Shanghai office. He has a focus on M&A and foreign direct investment, particularly advising European clients investing into China.

‘Sven-Michael’s extensive experience in our key sectors of technology, media and life sciences, as well as with major fashion brands, makes him a good fit for our growing corporate practice in China,’ said Marcus Vass, head of Bird & Bird’s China transactional group.

Bird & Bird has also appointed Air Arabia general counsel Anna Anatolitou as a partner across both its UAE offices. Prior to that she was at Norton Rose and has over 13 years’ experience as an aviation and dispute resolution lawyer.

‘Now Anna has joined, we have practical capability in the Middle East to advise airlines, insurers, lessors and investors on all legal issues. Our international aviation sector group has grown considerably over the past ten years and will continue to keep growing,’ said Paul Briggs, co-head of the firm’s aviation group.

Meanwhile another Global 100 firm, Simmons & Simmons, has also scored a coup with the hire of Reed Smith’s head of investment funds for Europe and the Middle East, Dale Gabbert.

Gabbert advises fund managers and financial institutions on the establishment and running of all classes of alternative investment funds, including hedge funds, private equity funds and credit funds.

‘Dale’s appointment will add further scale to our private funds practice, and we are looking forward to him joining this growing team,’ said Colin Leaver, Simmons’ asset management and investment funds sector head.

On the domestic front, Bond Dickinson brought in high regarded intellectual property (IP) expert Patrick Cantrill as partner from top-tier Leeds firm Walker Morris, where he was head of its IP department. The Legal 500 describes him as having an ‘incredible wealth of experience’ illustrated by having over 30 years’ of experience managing IP portfolios for blue chip and international organisations.

‘He is one of the most accomplished lawyers in his field and he will be a first-rate addition to our intellectual property and media practice,’ said Bond Dickinson chairman Nick Page. ‘We look forward to working with him as we develop our presence in London and internationally,’

Finally, US firm Sedgwick brought in DLA Piper insurance litigation partner David Murphy into its London office earlier this month. His experience spans a variety of classes of business, including property, energy, engineering, mining and credit insurance.

Murphy’s practice is truly international. He has represented London market and global insurers in analysing insurance claims and coverage issues arising from numerous jurisdictions around the globe, including Thailand, Colombia, Australia and Peru.