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Revolving Doors: Eversheds makes City corporate play as DLA and Ashurst announce international hires

The first signs of a late-autumn slowdown in City laterals emerged last week with Eversheds Sutherland making the only significant hire in London, strengthening its corporate practice. Meanwhile, DLA Piper bolstered its litigation offering in Madrid in a slightly busier international round and Ashurst landed a partner at the expense of White & Case in Abu Dhabi.

Eversheds added to its corporate bench with the hire of Stewart Womersley from Addleshaw Goddard’s funds and indirect real estate team. Womersley had been a partner at Addleshaw Goddard for over four years, and focused on corporate real estate transactions and joint ventures. Womersley will now join a cross-department team at Eversheds that covers real estate, tax, funds and banking.

Richard Moulton, head of corporate at Eversheds, commented on the hire: ‘Stewart joins a very strong corporate practice and at a particularly exciting period of growth. Indirect real estate is an area in which we see great opportunity and his appointment demonstrates our ongoing commitment to investing in that sector and building on our existing City offering. Stewart’s experience and knowledge draws together a high quality, multi-discipline corporate real estate team and we’re delighted to welcome him on board.’

Womble Bond Dickinson also made a move in the corporate space, securing corporate and private client immigration partner Andrew Tingley, who will now head up the firm’s immigration practice in the City. Tingley joins from Kingsley Napley, and brings with him experience advising on a range of clients in professional services as well as working for high-net-worth individuals.

DLA, meanwhile, made a hire in the disputes space, securing Borja de Obeso from Spanish firm Gómez-Acebo & Pombo, where he acted as an arbitration partner. Previously a state lawyer in the High Court of Justice and the contentious administrative courts of Madrid, De Obeso focuses on civil and criminal litigation as well as international arbitration. De Obeso will now become head of the litigation and arbitration team for DLA in Spain.

Jean-Pierre Douglas-Henry, global co-chair of the litigation and regulatory practice at DLA, said: ‘Borja is a first-class litigator who is regularly involved in high-profile cases for a range of top-tier clients. He brings an outstanding reputation, a high level of expertise and strong client relationships which perfectly complement our global business.’

Elsewhere Ashurst managed to lure former White & Case projects partner Matthew Wood to join the firm in Abu Dhabi before later relocating to London. Wood had previously been at White & Case since 2015, and brings experience advising on energy and infrastructure matters across the Middle East and Africa. Woods will now head Ashurst’s African project finance practice.

Finishing off the international recruitment round, offshore firm Harneys hired disputes partner Julie Engwirda from offshore rivals Travers Thorp Alberga. Engwirda joins the firm in Hong Kong, where she had worked for Travers Thorp Alberga for more than two years.