Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: CC fertile hunting ground for Simpson Thacher as Mishcon loses two disputes partners in a week

Lateral hires are not commonplace for Simpson Thacher & Bartlett but when it does in London, Clifford Chance is often the firm to lose out. The firm that hired Adam Signy, Jason Glover and Amy Mahon from CC has once again hired from the Magic Circle player, this time adding financial regulation specialist Owen Lysak. 

Lysak advises private funds, asset managers and financial institutions on UK and EU financial market regulations and transactions, including in relation to AIFMD, MiFID II and MiFIR. He counsels market participants on regulatory capital requirements and securities regulation, on markets abuse regulations, and on issues related to Brexit and the financial crisis regulatory response. He also advises on the regulatory aspects of M&A and restructurings within the financial sector. He became a partner at CC in 2017. 

‘Owen has extensive experience advising private funds and alternative asset managers on complex financial regulatory matters,’ said Bill Dougherty, chairman of Simpson Thacher’s executive committee. ‘His addition in London enables us to better serve our clients as a single-source destination by providing best-in-class advice across the corporate, funds, tax and regulatory spectrum.’ 

Elsewhere, Mishcon de Reya has seen two disputes partners make for the exit in the same week. Firstly, arbitration specialist Ben Giaretta has joined Fox Williams, while commercial litigator Genevieve Quierin will become a partner at Stephenson Harwood 

Giaretta was previously head of international arbitration (Asia) at Ashurst in Singapore, and more recently a partner in the dispute resolution practice at Mishcon since 2018. As well as appearing as counsel in international arbitration, he has had over 30 appointments as arbitrator and is on the panels of arbitrators of many institutions throughout the world.  

Peter Ashford, partner and now co-head of international arbitration at Fox Williams with Giaretta said: ‘The demand for support and guidance on international disputes remains high and continues to grow. Ben has a terrific reputation and is a much-respected practitioner and arbitrator, bringing strength and depth to our practice.’ 

Quierin, a partner in the finance & banking disputes group at Mishcon, is a solicitor-advocate who acted for Tesco and WHSmith in the high-profile interchange fee competition litigation against MasterCard and Visa. Quierin’s efforts successfully assisted Tesco in settling its claims against both card schemes and WHSmith in reaching a settlement with MasterCard. She has continued to represent numerous clients in interchange claims, including hundreds of hotels throughout Europe, franchisees of a major global fast food chain and dozens of UK household-name retailers.  

Edward Davis, co-head of Stephenson Harwood’s commercial litigation practice group said: ‘We are seeing an increasing demand for exceptional commercial litigation lawyers and Genevieve – an experienced and highly regarded litigator – brings a skill set that complements our award-winning litigation practice.’ 

This was not Stephenson Harwood’s only notable lateral hire of the week – it also announced the appointment of international aviation finance partner Rebecca Garner from Addleshaw Goddard. 

Garner regularly acts for airlines, investment funds and financial institutions. Her broad-ranging aviation experience covers the full spectrum of financing and leasing transactions, aviation commercial contracts, restructuring matters and regulatory issues affecting airlines. Unusually for an aircraft finance lawyer, Garner also advises clients on structured finance and derivative transactions within the aviation, general banking and real estate finance sectors. 

The two disputes departures for Mishcon were offset to some extent by the hire of Louis Flannery QC during the lockdown in April – from Stephenson Harwood where he was head of international arbitration. 

Elsewhere, in Germany, Dentons has made a significant move with the hire of Baker McKenzie’s local restructuring head, Holger Ellers. Ellers joins the Berlin office of Dentons and he most recently advised on the protective shield proceedings of the German companies of a major international fashion group and acted for creditors in the insolvency proceedings of the Galeria Karstadt Kaufhof department store. He regularly advises creditors in the automotive industry on insolvency proceedings and supports strategic investors with acquisitions from the insolvency administrator. 

Finally, the significant in-house move of the week came at Halma, FTSE 100 global group of life-saving technology companies, which announced the appointment of Funmi Adegoke as its group general counsel. She has over 15 years of in-house experience at large multinationals, including in a number of senior legal and commercial roles. Most recently, she was managing counsel for BP’s Downstream Commercial Development and Transformation business. 

She replaces GC Powerlister and Legal Business Awards judge Ruwan De Soyza, who left Halma in May to join Transaction Services Group (TSG).