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Revolving doors: CC loses another German partner as Ashurst hires from Reed Smith and HFW turns to Orrick

Last week saw K&L Gates become the latest firm to pick up a partner from Clifford Chance’s (CC) Germany practice, hiring an intellectual property (IP) partner into its Frankfurt office. Meanwhile, Ashurst turn to Reed smith to hire a global head for its pro bono practice, Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) boosted it Paris finance team with a high-profile higher from Orrick and in-house saw Publicis Groupe appoint a new general counsel (GC).

IP partner Thorsten Vormann joined K&L Gates after having spent 23 years at CC and its predecessor firm, including 18 as partner. His tenure at the Magic Circle firm included heading CC’s German IP and trademark department since 2006 and has seen him work for clients including Fabergé, Hyundai and Siemens. He focuses on patent infringement disputes but has also done non-contentious work.

Also on the Continent, HFW hired Jean-Marc Zampa from Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe where he was the local head of banking and finance. Having spent 12 years at Orrick, Zampa started his career at Arthur Andersen, before joining HSBC as in-house counsel and then Watson Farley & Williams for just over a year.

Zampa has covered a range of finance structures but has a particular expertise in ship finance having worked with ship owners, banks and corporate borrowers. Robert Follie, managing partner of the HFW’s Paris office said: ‘[Zampa’s] expertise extends the capabilities we can provide to clients in our sectors of focus and will be particularly valued by clients who operate in the shipping, aviation and energy sectors.’

Meanwhile, Ashurst also made a senior hire from a US firm, bringing in Sarah Morton-Ramwell as global head of pro bono from Reed Smith. At Reed Smith, Morton-Ramwell was responsible for the firm’s pro bono and corporate responsibility projects in Europe, the Middle East and Asia. Sarah focused on improving access to justice for the disadvantaged and those in need, which included working and partnering with clients to develop their in-house pro bono programmes as well as their involvement in pro bono matters and clinics.

James Collis, managing partner, said: ‘Having a world-class pro bono programme of sufficient scale is a clear priority for the firm. Pro bono is an integral part of Ashurst and appointing someone who is so highly regarded internationally and understands the differing needs of pro bono around the world will be a significant boost for our practice.’

Morton-Ramwell added: ‘Having a globally renowned practice can also support the firm’s strategy and ability to successfully attract and retain the best talent. I am delighted to have joined the firm and to have the opportunity to help to further develop a programme of the highest quality and integrity.’

Finally, Publicis Groupe, one of the ‘Big Four’ advertising and public relations companies, appointed Joe LaSala as GC replacing Eric-Antoine Fredette, who had been in the position for three years. LaSala was previously senior vice president and general counsel at Sapient but has held numerous senior in-house roles in media, technology and the oil and gas industries.