Berwin Leighton Paisner (BLP) has recruited a team of five lawyers including two partners to its Hong Kong office, while Allen & Overy (A&O), Hogan Lovells and Herbert Smith Freehills also made key international appointments last week.
A five strong team including two partners will join BLP from independent boutique William KK Ho & Co, which specialises in asset financing for aircraft and ships. William Ho and Jackson Chow will join BLP’s Hong Kong office. BLP head of Asia Bob Charlton is confident Ho’s ‘enviable client base’ the new team will allow the firm to make a ‘powerful impact’ in the Hong Kong market. He said: ‘The addition of this market leading team provides us with important Chinese capabilities in our Hong Kong office and the combination of our businesses enhances our client penetration and market profile and crucially, our ability to serve clients.’
A&O has hired Ernst & Young partner Daniela Trötscher to its tax practice in its Frankfurt office. She will focus on project related tax advice in the fields of compliance, risk management and other tax-related corporate processes. The firm’s senior partner in Germany Neil Weiand said Trötscher’s arrival ‘strengthens our Frankfurt tax team and represents another important step towards becoming one of the leading firms in Germany, also in terms of size’. He added: ‘Her experience in the field of tax risk management will also be highly valuable for other practice groups such as banking and finance and capital markets.’
Hogan Lovells has recruited M&A partner Carl Stein to its Johannesburg corporate practice. Stein primarily advises large private and public corporate entities on M&A, securities and stock exchange transactions, as well as corporate and structured finance, and the drafting and negotiation of complex commercial agreements. Global head of corporate David Gibbons said: ‘His reputation in the market is outstanding and his experience representing leading public and private companies on sophisticated transactions in South Africa is a great asset.’
In another Johannesburg lateral move, Herbert Smith Freehills has appointed its first M&A partner Rudolph du Plessis to its South African office, which opened in 2015. He joins from Bowman Gilfillan, where he has been a partner since 2001. Du Plessis holds particular expertise in cross-border M&A transactions and regularly advises multi-nationals and foreign companies on investment in South Africa which includes advice on structuring issues and exchange control regulations.
As it continues to build on the success of its financial services regulatory group, Withers has hired former Taylor Wessing partner Alix Prentice to lead the group’s institutional advisory practice. Prentice has worked in the general counsel’s division of the Financial Services Authority and specialises in institutional regulatory advice for all types of businesses regulated by the Prudential Regulatory Authority and Financial Conduct Authority, including banks, insurers, asset managers, brokers, investment advisers, consumer credit businesses, hedge funds, investment funds and multi-family offices.
London-based law firm Bristows has brought RPC partner Stephen Smith to the firm as a partner in its competition team. Smith has a broad practice encompassing merger control, cartels and anti-trust investigations, and is the current vice president of the competition section of the Law Society. The hire is part of a consistent period of growth for the firm’s competition law practice, and follows the recent the promotion of Bristows’ Sophie Lawrance to partner. Smith becomes one of a total of 38 partners, across multiple practice areas.