Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Cleary picks up rare Slaughters hire as Goodwin and Shearman make significant London plays

Cleary Gottlieb Steen & Hamilton has reinforced its impressive European antitrust credentials, hiring Slaughter and May special adviser Jackie Holland as a partner in London.

A leading name at the UK competition Bar, Holland has over 25 years’ private practice experience in addition to an agency background from a stint at the Office of Fair Trading (OFT), where she was a senior director. At the OFT, Holland reformed the agency’s merger control regime and antitrust measures.

Commenting on her move, Holland described Cleary’s antitrust practice as ‘among the best in the world’. She added: ‘It’s a fascinating time to be a competition lawyer in London given the Competition and Markets Authority’s enhanced role in the post-Brexit world. I can’t wait to get started.’

Meanwhile, Goodwin has also expanded its London bench with the hire of tax partner Dulcie Daly and debt finance partner Hugh O’Sullivan from Kirkland & Ellis. The highly-rated Daly has almost 15 years’ experience focusing on UK and international tax planning, as well as providing tax advice in the context of cross-border M&A and private equity deals.

Goodwin tax partner Laura Charkin said of Daly: ‘Dulcie will be an invaluable resource for our clients as they continue to engage us for our specialist experience in private equity, technology, life sciences, real estate and financial services, and where these industries converge.’

O’Sullivan advises sponsors, corporates, funds and financial institutions across a wide range of complex and multi-jurisdictional financing transactions, and is described as an ‘ascending talent’ by Christian Iwasko, a private equity partner at Goodwin.

The arrivals come at a significant growth period for Goodwin – in the last five years, its European lawyer headcount across London, Cambridge, Frankfurt, Luxembourg and Paris has grown from 20 to 240.

Elsewhere, in a high-profile departure from Travers Smith following the exit of Paul Dolman to Latham & Watkins in December, head of corporate M&A and equity capital markets Phil Cheveley has joined Shearman & Sterling. Bringing a varied practice in M&A, private equity and restructurings, Cheveley will assume the role of head of M&A for EMEA at Shearman.

Senior partner David Beveridge commented: ‘Phil’s appointment is part of the continuing expansion of our M&A practice globally (including in London) which is a key component of our long-term strategy, reinforcing the firm’s position as a global elite law firm.’

Also in London, King & Spalding has confirmed it has hired Boies Schiller Flexner arbitration partner Kenneth Beale. Beale, who advises on both commercial and investor-state arbitrations, is expected to relocate to King & Spalding’s Washington DC base later this year.

Beale described King & Spalding as the ‘global market leader for international arbitration’ and said: ‘I have known and respected many of the firm’s partners and am excited to work with them to solve our clients’ most difficult challenges and needs.’

Manchester-based JMW Solicitors has carried out a major expansion of its London operations, hiring five new lateral partners across a range of practice areas. The hires are: real estate partner Sophie Maryan from Philip Ross Solicitor; M&A specialist and ex-Morrisons Solicitors partner John Andrews; former Watson Farley & Williams real estate finance partner Petar Orlic; family law partner David Thompson from BDB Pitmans; and corporate crime partner Daniel Martin, formerly of Blaser Mills Law.

Senior partner Joy Kingsley said: ‘Despite the challenging environment, we are continuing to see significant growth in our London office. Our continued investment is being rewarded by exceptional growth and these latest hires bring the team in London to 44 partners.’

Fox Williams has appointed Bird & Bird commercial partner Lucy England to its London office, where she will join the firm’s commercial and technology group. Becoming the firm’s 36th partner, she will have a specific focus on the aviation and travel industries, and the impact of technology on those sectors.

Describing her practice, England said: ‘The travel and aviation sectors faced dramatic change before the advent of the Covid pandemic, driven by new and exciting technologies. Covid has accelerated this change with travel businesses looking forward to a substantial post-pandemic bounce.’

In a significant move for the London Bar, leading commercial set Fountain Court Chambers has welcomed the arrival of Laurie Brock as a tenant. Brock joins from Maitland Chambers, bringing with him a broad chancery practice with an emphasis on banking and financial services.

Bankim Thanki QC, head of Fountain Court, remarked that Brock’s ‘sheer excellence’ had ‘universally impressed’ the set over the last few years.

In Europe, Bird & Bird has made a major insurance play in Spain by hiring a team of two partners and two associates from Hogan Lovells. Of the two partners, Luis Alfonso Fernández Manzano was formerly head of Hogan Lovells’ insurance and reinsurance group in Spain. His expertise is in insurance litigation, in addition to reinsurance contracts and the regulatory aspects of the market.

The other partner, Virginia Martínez Fernández, previously headed up Hogan Lovells’ Spanish insurance and reinsurance regulatory practice. She regularly advises clients on the interpretation of Spanish insurance and reinsurance regulation, and also has experience designing insurance distribution structures in Spain.

Manzano commented: ‘As one of the most successful insurance teams in the Spanish market, the future strategy of our team will be to focus on the type of work that will allow us to make a real difference in the insurance sector.’

WFW has hired two partners as part of a drive to expand its hotels and hospitality practice in Singapore and Sydney respectively. Partners Robert Williams and Lada Shelkovnikova are joined by a consultant and special counsel in all joining from Withers.

Williams and Shelkovnikova are both established experts in Asia-Pacific hotel and resort M&A. Williams said: ‘Joining WFW enhances our team’s regional coverage, with the ability to better service the Thailand, Vietnam and Middle East markets through offices in Bangkok, Hanoi and Dubai. We will continue to partner with and closely support all our clients and further expand our hospitality teams in Sydney and Singapore in the coming months.’

Ashurst has similarly strengthened its Sydney office with the hire of seasoned dispute resolution partner Nicholas Mavrakis from rival Australian firm Clayton Utz. Mavrakis has built a broad practice over 25 years, covering commercial disputes, regulatory investigations, class actions, securities law, cartel disputes as well as tax and fraud disputes.