Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Dechert makes London play with Kirkland duo as firms strengthen abroad

The pace of lateral hiring has picked up during the past week with a number of appointments in the UK and internationally.

Dechert has made an ambitious double hire in the City from US firm Kirkland & Ellis, bringing in corporate partner Christopher Field and tax partner Jane Scobie.

Field is experienced in private equity and M&A transactions and has previously advised on disposals, equity capital markets and initial public offerings. Scobie focuses on the tax aspects of private equity and M&A transactions.

Field told Legal Business that he was like a ‘shiny new toy’ to Dechert due to the firm’s desire to expand its private equity practice, and said that the firm’s global presence suited his client base well.

Field also cited Dechert finance partners Ross Allardice and John Markland as major factors in his decision to join, as he has worked with both of them in the past. He also described Scobie as ‘a spectacularly good partner’.

Elsewhere in the UK, Squire Patton Boggs has expanded its Manchester office, hiring infrastructure project finance specialist Nick Helm as a partner from DLA Piper.

Helm, who joins Squire’s real estate practice, advises a range of institutions, including local and central government, on project finance and public-private partnership schemes.

Nick Green, Squire’s European real estate head, commented: ‘The expansion of the firm’s infrastructure and projects practice is of strategic importance to the firm. Nick Helm is a well respected, all-round projects specialist who has advised on some of the country’s most complex PFI schemes.’

In Europe, Fieldfisher has strengthened its newly-opened Amsterdam office with its first new hire, appointing commercial and regulatory partner Manish Bahl from Eversheds Sutherland. Bahl, previously of CMS Cameron McKenna and Clifford Chance, specialises in competition, commercial contracting and regulatory matters.

Bahl credited Fieldfisher’s ‘global reputation and style of working’ as factors behind his move to the firm, and described it to Legal Business as ‘a very modern, open, quality-driven place with outstanding people in my field all over Europe.’

Bahl becomes the sixth partner at the Amsterdam office, which opened in February, and confirmed that Fieldfisher will be looking to expand the office’s data protection capabilities in the near future.

Bird & Bird has also added depth in Europe with a couple of hires. In Frankfurt, the firm has appointed dispute resolution partner Benedikt Burger from Allen & Overy. Burger, who has over 19 years’ experience in both litigation and arbitration, typically represents German investors and international companies in cross-border disputes.

In addition, Bird & Bird has hired competition and EU partner Patricia Liñán. Liñán, who will divide her time between the firm’s Madrid and Brussels offices, joins from CMS’ Spanish arm, CMS Albiñana & Suárez De Lezo where she was the head of EU and competition law.

Finally, Magic Circle firm Linklaters has installed a new Moscow dispute resolution head, hiring Vladimir Melnikov from Herbert Smith Freehills. Linklaters managing partner for Russia, Dmitry Dobatkin, said that strengthening the firm’s dispute resolution practice in Russia was a strategic development priority for Linklaters, and commented: ‘We are confident that under Vladimir Melnikov’s leadership, our dispute resolution practice will step up to a new level allowing us to protect the interests of our clients even more effectively.’