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Revolving Doors: DWF appoints senior hand in critical management refresh as experienced players move to and from G100 firms

The past week has seen some senior hands move to and from large international law firms, not least DWF Group refreshing its c-suite with experience to help CEO Sir Nigel Knowles at a critical time for the business. 

DWF has, following a ‘recruitment process’, appointed the current chair of Morgan Stanley International, Jonathan Bloomer, as its new chairman with effect from 1 August. Meanwhile, Chris Sullivan, who stepped up to become interim chairman, when former chairman Knowles took over from outgoing CEO Andrew Leaitherland in May, will now become deputy chairman. 

Bloomer brings a wealth of experience at a time listed firm DWF needs it most. In addition to his Morgan Stanley role, he is also chairman of Arrow Global Group and SDL Group. He has previously held a number of board positions, including chairman of the JLT Employee Benefits Group, senior independent director of Hargreaves Lansdowne, non-executive director of Railtrack and director of Egg. From 2006-2012 he was European partner at Cerberus Capital and between 2000 and 2005, served as group CEO of Prudential. 

Sir Nigel Knowles said: ‘Jonathan joins the board at an important time so his seniority and extensive experience in both executive and non-executive roles across a wide range of businesses will be extremely welcome.’ 

Meanwhile, Latham & Watkins announced that former Linklaters managing associate John Guccione will join its London office as a corporate partner. Guccione joins the firm from OMERS Infrastructure, where he was managing director, legal. He has substantial experience across a range of complex corporate and financing matters, with a particular focus on transactions involving regulated utilities, energy, and transportation assets.  

Stephen Kensell, Latham’s London managing partner in London said: ‘John has deep connections within the European and global infrastructure community, and his arrival will significantly augment our resources in London and around the world.’  

Over the last decade, Guccione has overseen European transactions for OMERS Infrastructure, which manages investments globally in infrastructure on behalf of OMERS, the defined benefit pension plan for municipal employees in Ontario, Canada. 

Prior to joining OMERS Infrastructure, Guccione was a member of the energy and infrastructure group at Linklaters in London and the corporate group at Torys in Toronto. 

Elsewhere, there have been two senior transactional lawyers to depart Global 100 firms in recent weeks. Senior private equity specialist Raymond McKeeve has popped up as a senior adviser at corporate advisory firm Avonhurst, after leaving Jones Day in January. Avonhurst was set up a year ago by McKeeve’s former Jones Day colleague Jonathan Bloom, who was also a founding partner of Ropes & Gray’s London office and a partner in the high yield team at White & Case. McKeeve is joined by restructuring partner Carolyn Conner, who was at Allen & Overy for 20 years. 

In Australia Jason Ricketts, the managing partner of finance, real estate and projects at Herbert Smith Freehills, has left the Anglo-Australian giant to become the new general counsel for Minderoo Foundation and Tattarang investment group. 

Ricketts has global experience in the water, waste, energy, transportation, health, mining and resources sectors and has acted for the public and private sectors in the delivery of major projects in Australia and overseas. He was Australia managing partner of HSF until regional roles were consolidated in 2015 but stayed on the global executive after being given control of the firm’s finance, real estate and projects practice.