Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: December shopping spree continues in lateral recruitment market

Lateral recruitment is mirroring the pre-Christmas deal rush after multiple firms announced multiple partner hires last week.

Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer, Fieldfisher, Pinsent Masons, CMS UK and Kennedys have all made lateral moves already this month, following a strong November for partner recruitment.

Insurance specialist Kennedys has made the biggest splash, at least numbers-wise, with the hire of four partners from Mayer Brown, three of whom will be based in London.

The firm has made 33 partner hires this year and opened 10 new offices, while becoming  the first onshore global law firm to launch in Bermuda.

Former Mayer Brown partners David Chadwick, who was the head of the firm’s London insurance and reinsurance group, Ingrid Hobbs, Andrew Westlake and Andrew McGahey would all join Kennedys in the New Year, with McGahey relocating to Dublin.

Kennedys senior partner Nick Thomas said: ‘Their appointments significantly complement our domestic and global insurance practice and London market capabilities, which were augmented with recent hires in Bermuda, Chicago and New York, and also reinforce our appetite for attracting top talent.’

US firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer (APKS) expanded its London office with the hire of Shepherd and Wedderburn competition partner John Schmidt, who has more than 20 years’ experience, to focus on competition issues at a national and European level.

At Shepherd Schmidt was particularly involved in the life sciences, consumer goods, finance, and infrastructure sectors, to which the APKS global antitrust group head Debbie Feinstein noted: ‘His experience in the pharmaceutical and consumer goods sectors will be of significant benefit to our competition and antitrust clients’.

Elsewhere, one of the fastest growing firms in the LB100 this year – Fieldfisher – has added two new partners in Manchester, the third and fourth partner hires of the past three months.

The firm, which last month announced a 20% rise in turnover in its half-year results for 2017/18, has hired former Clyde & Co real estate partner Liam Buckley and former Brabners sport and entertainment partner Simon Taylor.

Buckley, who covers commercial property development, investment projects, and regeneration work, previously acted for shareholders on the £1.6bn disposal of Iceland Frozen Food Group in 2014.

The experienced Taylor, meanwhile, specialised in sport, entertainment and licensing at Brabners, and has advised clients including the Grand Prix Drivers’ Association and Formula One drivers Mark Webber and Kevin Magnussen.

Fieldfisher Manchester managing partner Ian Austin said the firm’s recruitment drive was showing no signs of slowing down. ‘This, I hope, will lead to further growth for Fieldfisher in the UK.’

Also last week, CMS UK hired a new capital markets and derivatives partner. Neil Hamilton, who joined from Jones Day and was a former partner at Clifford Chance, becomes CMS’ fifth London partner in this practice, which team head Will Dibble said demonstrated a commitment to enhancing its product offering and reputation in the field.

Finally, Pinsent Masons added to its German M&A practice with former KPMG Law partner Thomas Peschke to focus on local and multijurisdictional work in the advanced manufacturing and technology and retail sectors.