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Revolving doors: DAC Beachcroft christens new year with Paris opening as WFW, Cooley and HFW make European hires

DAC Beachcroft has extended its European footprint with the opening of a new two-partner Paris office, while Watson Farley & Williams, Holman Fenwick Willan and Cooley also kicked off 2019 with key lateral hires.

The new Paris office is DAC’s first in France and its 12th worldwide. Two partners have been hired from local firm HMN to staff the new branch: Vladimir Rostan d’Ancezune, who will head the office, while Christophe Wucher North also joins.

Initially the office will focus on both global and domestic insurance as well as the industrial risks sector – areas Rostan d’Ancezune and North both have extensive experience in.

David Pollitt, DAC Beachcroft’s managing partner, commented: ‘Paris is an important hub for international insurance work, as well as a gateway into the strong domestic market. Our ambition is to be the leading provider of insurance legal advice in France.’

As it stands, insurance rival Clyde & Co operates a 28-lawyer office in Paris while another competitor, HFW, boasts a 36-lawyer hub in the French capital.

Elsewhere in Europe, WFW has made a key German appointment, bringing in regulatory partner Friedrich Maximilian Boemke to its Hamburg office.

Boemke, who joins from local Hamburg firm Corinius, has a client base mainly consisting of private energy and chemical trading companies, in addition to banks operating in the renewable and conventional energy sectors. His arrival comes after the addition of fellow German regulatory partner, Felix Siebler, last year.

Marus Bechtel, head of WFW Germany, said this extra regulatory support means the firm ‘is better placed to continue to expand and broaden its client base, most notably into the conventional energy and non-energy related infrastructure sectors.’

HFW has also made a key hire in its core admiralty and crisis management practice, picking up Victor Fenwick from Ince & Co in the wake of its acquisition by Gordon Dadds. He was deputy head of the Ince’s admiralty business group.  He has more than 25 years’ experience handling marine casualty claims in markets around the world. He advises shipowners, brokers, H&M and P&I insurers on a wide range of casualty and insurance coverage issues.

Andrew Chamberlain, Head of HFW’s Global Admiralty & Crisis Management team, said: ‘[Victor] is a hugely experienced and highly respected figure in the industry, with expertise in several key markets for our practice, including Scandinavia and Japan. He  is a valuable addition that further strengthens our global team and underlines our continued and longstanding commitment to the maritime industry.’

Finally, back in the UK, Cooley has boosted its London IP practice with the hire of Charlie Winckworth, who joins from Hogan Lovells.  Winckworth, who was promoted to Hogan Lovells’ partnership in 2014, said:  ‘I’ve had the fortune of working closely with some of the firm’s partners, and I know my work, particularly with e-commerce, tech and life sciences companies, will prove a fruitful match. Most of all, I’m happy to be joining the renowned team here – the commitment and camaraderie is powerful.’