Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: City laterals slow as Hogan Lovells lose corporate partner to Dechert, while CC and Herbert Smith make moves abroad

In a lull for City recruitment, Dechert made the only significant London hire last week, with Kennedys recruiting in the regions and Clifford Chance (CC) hiring in New York.

Dechert brought in Hogan Lovells M&A and private equity partner Robert Darwin, with the Philadelphia-based firm looking to strengthen its corporate life sciences group. The London-based Darwin had been partner at Hogan Lovells for more than three years.

In a statement, a spokesman for the firm said: ‘We wish Robert well in the next phase of his career and thank him for his contribution to Hogan Lovells.’

Elsewhere in the UK, Kennedys bolstered its insurance and commercial lines with the hire of Nick Bond to its Manchester office. Bond will lead a new team in Manchester for Kennedys, enhancing the firm’s existing insurance and claims practice in the city, with Bond focusing on property damage, construction, policy coverage and product liability and recall.

Bond joins from Manchester headquartered firm BLM, where he represented a range of insurers, brokers and local authorities in a variety of commercial disputes. Bond will also be joined by Robert Steele from BLM, who was hired as a consultant, as well as two solicitors.

Regarding the hire, Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas (pictured) said: ‘The appointment of Nick, Robert and their team marks another phase of our strategic plan to expand the range of services we can deliver from Manchester. We feel there is strong demand in the North-West for insurance and commercial advice of the quality Kennedys can deliver, and this development follows on nicely from our merger with Berg.’

Across the Atlantic, CC announced the hire of Victor Levy to its private funds group in New York, joining the firm as a corporate partner. Levy re-joins the firm after a spell at DLA Piper, where he had been made partner in 2015.

‘Victor’s arrival continues a strong wave of growth for us in the US,’ CC Americas regional managing partner Evan Cohen said. ‘We have added 17 laterals, including five in our corporate group, since 2016, and further expanded our offerings in key areas such as cyber, financial and insurance regulation, LatAm, real estate, restructuring, sanctions and white collar. Victor’s credentials go straight to the priorities we have laid out in our Americas strategy.’

Meanwhile, Herbert Smith Freehills set about strengthening in South Africa with the addition of Cameron Dunstan-Smith, who joins the firm from Bowmans Gilfillan. Dunstan-Smith will now act as director of Herbert Smith’s corporate crime and investigations practice, bringing with him experience advising in anti-bribery and corruption for a series of multi-national companies acquiring or selling in Africa.

Concluding the international recruitment round, CMS Cameron McKenna Nabarro Olswang announced the hire of insurance partners Andrew Horton and Steven Wise, who join CMS’ associated firm in Hong Kong, Shirley Lau & Co. Horton has acted on disputes relating to bills of lading, charter parties and marine insurance policies, while Wise specializes in shipping and international trade as CMS looks to further strengthen its insurance and disputes practices in Asia. Both Horton and Wise join from RPC, where they were partners.