Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Clyde opens three new US offices as Quinn Emanuel launches Miami branch

There was a significant American slant to the latest round of lateral partner recruitment, as disputes-heavy Clyde & Co and Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan launched new offices.

Clyde is to establish new bases across the south west of the US in Phoenix, Denver and Las Vegas via the appointment of insurance partner Amy Samberg and her team from Foran Glennon Palandech Ponzi & Rudloff. Samberg arrives alongside six counsel, as well as several associates and staff.

The move is set to reinforce its already considerable US insurance presence, building on the firm’s nine offices across New York, Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New Jersey, Orange County, San Francisco and Washington DC.

Chief executive Matthew Kelsall said the move ‘represents a significant step in our aim to build the leading national US insurance practice’. He added: ‘We have long sought a presence in this growing region to ensure we can serve our clients where they need us and with Amy and her team we’re confident we’re bringing on board the best insurance team in the region.’

In another eye-catching move, Quinn Emanuel will open in Miami with the hire of ten lawyers including the city’s mayor, Francis Suarez, as of counsel. The two partners leading the move are John O’Sullivan and Olga Vieira who join from Hogan Lovells and Greenspoon Marder respectively.

The firm’s founder, John Quinn, commented: ‘We have big plans for Miami. Under mayor Suarez’s leadership, it has become a magnet for businesses, entrepreneurs and investment talent. With our leading complex commercial litigation and IP practices – and with our thriving Latin American practice – opening here is an obvious step.’

It has been an interesting week for the private equity practices of both Clifford Chance (CC) and Kirkland & Ellis, as senior lawyers swapped between the two firms. In Munich, CC has hired partners Volkmar Bruckner and Mark Aschenbrenner from Kirkland in a three-man team completed by a senior associate. Both Bruckner and Aschenbrenner are experienced private equity specialists who regularly advise on high-level acquisitions.

However CC has lost a private equity specialist to Kirkland in London, with Gregory Scott making the switch. Scott advises private equity houses and sponsors on all types of M&A transactions, including leveraged buyouts, carve-outs, mergers and exits across a range of sectors.

Keystone Law has attracted another established partner to its flexible model in the form of funds specialist Winston Penhall, who joins from Reed Smith. Penhall, who previously founded the funds law team at KPMG, advises investment managers, investors and service providers on relevant law and regulation.

Penhall said: ‘Keystone Law has become a considerable force in the legal sector and has developed an impressive reputation, which appeals to both me and my practice. The strength of the firm’s full-service offering and the freedom its innovative model provides will enable me to deliver an exceptional level of service for my clients.’

Simpson Millar has bolstered its Manchester family law practice with the hire of a three-lawyer team led by partner Cara Nuttall. Arriving alongside a senior associate and a solicitor, Nuttall specialises in domestic and international surrogacy, international abduction and complex children issues. She is also recognised as a ‘Leading Individual’ in the North West for private client work in the Legal 500.

Underlining the significance of the move, David Lister, Simpson Millar’s national family law head, asserted: ‘What’s really exciting is that Cara’s team could have had their pick of firms and they chose us.’

DWF has appointed Jonathan Drake, formerly head of Womble Bond Dickinson’s insurance practice, as a partner. A veteran of the sector, Drake has had stints at Clyde, Dentons and Ashurst as well as in-house as general counsel of OdysseyRe. His practice covers regulatory matters and  insurance and reinsurance policy wordings.

Drake said it was an ‘exciting time’ to join DWF, owing to its ‘genuine strength and depth in both insurance and commercial services work’.

Harbottle & Lewis has pulled off a major IP hire, bringing in the former head of Eversheds Sutherland’s IP and media group, Andrew Terry, as a partner. Terry is a veteran of various IP, media and brand protection issues, and has supported clients ranging from household name brands, sporting institutions and major artists in the music industry.

Shireen Peermohamed, head of Harbottle & Lewis’ IP practice, said: ‘He brings the ability to advise on the full IP lifecycle, as well as extensive experience in dispute resolution. His broader expertise, across a range of sectors, allows him to provide bespoke and strategic commercial advice and complements Harbottle & Lewis’ specialism in contentious IP matters.’

Alston & Bird has hired partner Paul Simcock from Vinson & Elkins in London to boost its leveraged finance credentials. Simcock has a two-decade history of advising sponsors, lenders, and borrowers on complex leveraged financings, including acquisitions, public takeovers, and other national and cross-border corporate debt mandates in both Europe and the U.S.

Crowell & Moring has expanded its competition practice with the hire of partner Peter Broadhurst from Simmons & Simmons in London. The seasoned Broadhurst typically advises companies on a range of competition issues including merger clearance, cartel investigations, abuse of dominance, distribution arrangements and developing compliance programmes.

Goodwin has made a concerted recruitment effort in Germany, hiring two partners in the space of a week. The firm has expanded in private equity by hiring partner Jan Schinköth from Sidley Austin, bringing with him 15 years’ experience of advising on both domestic and cross-border private equity transactions.

This was followed by the arrival of fund formation partner Sebastian Bruchwitz from Dechert, as Stephan Kock, chair of Goodwin’s Frankfurt office commented: ‘Sebastian’s standout experience in fund formation, structuring, and investments brings additional depth and quality to our global private investment funds team and enhances our coverage of real estate, private equity and debt funds transactions.’

Pinsent Masons has strengthened its Spanish employment practice by appointing experienced partner Samuel Gonzalez from BDO. Gonzalez, who will lead the new employment team in Madrid, has strong credentials having managed BDO’s employment team as well as having run his own international employment firm for five years, Claude & Martz.

Gonzalez described Pinsents as ‘the perfect platform to meet the needs of all clients, especially at a time like this where there are countless challenges and opportunities in labour and employment matters.’

In Asia, Shearman & Sterling has bolstered its Singapore project development and finance practice with the appointment of veteran ex-Herbert Smith Freehills partner James Clinch. On his hire, Shearman senior partner David Beveridge said: ‘David brings invaluable experience from a long career advising clients, particularly corporates and funds, on energy and infrastructure deals and project development matters across Asia, further strengthening our robust energy and infrastructure offering.’

Finally, in Shanghai, HFW has brought in Brinton Scott as a partner from Winston & Strawn, where he was Shanghai managing partner. A transactional lawyer, Scott has an extensive background in advising large multinational corporations on the full range of corporate matters.

Nick Poynder, head of HFW’s Shanghai office, described Scott as ‘one of the most experienced international lawyers in China’, and ‘a true seasoned veteran.’