Ropes & Gray has taken further steps towards its goal of becoming the go-to private equity practice in the city with the addition of partners Dan Oates, Simon Saitowitz and Angela Becker in the London office.
The trio, all of whom have joined from Fried Frank, are the latest in a string of London recruits by the Boston-headquartered firm, which has seen a 25% increase in fee earners in the capital since last year. All three bring expertise in cross-border M&A and private equity transactions.
Jane Rogers, Ropes’ acting London managing partner, said: ‘Their arrival is another significant step towards our goal of becoming London’s pre-eminent international law firm for private capital and other sophisticated clients. We have enjoyed an impressive trajectory in recent years, as our clients entrust us with their largest and most complex matters.
‘Their arrival also builds on the three other partner hires, and four partner promotions, we have made in London over the past 12 months. We are ambitious for further growth and will continue to invest in areas such as funds and restructuring, as well as private equity and finance.’
Meanwhile, tax partner Patricia Allen has returned to the Ashurst London team. Allen, who left the firm in 2010 to set up her own boutique tax advisory office, provides specialist knowhow in corporate tax, most notably regarding investment fund structures and private equity transactions. The firm also welcomed a new arrival to its Munich office; disputes partner Martin Eimer, who joined from Pinsent Masons where he led the global mass actions & collective redress team.
At Forsters, contentious trust and estates veteran Alison Meek joined as a consultant from Sinclair Gordon. A member of the Legal 500 Hall of Fame, Meek brings over 25 years’ experience advising trust companies, executors and beneficiaries.
Also in London, Sonya Van de Graaff joined Katten’s insolvency and restructuring group from Avonhurst. Van de Graaff’s experience spans contentious and non-contentious restructuring issues and representing creditors, debtors and boards of directors.
Withers also strengthened in the city, as Natalie Sherborn joined from Pinsent Masons. Coming into the white-collar defense and investigations team, Sherborn’s arrival follows the January addition of Carl Newman, who now leads the white-collar group.
In Germany, Daniel Zapf departed DLA Piper to join White & Case’s Frankfurt office. The move saw Zapf join as a partner, having been a counsel at his previous firm. A white-collar specialist, his expertise includes defending international companies and individuals subject to investigations and proceedings involving supervisory authorities and the courts.
Norton Rose Fulbright expanded its Munich real estate offering by recruiting Oliver Beyer from Simmons & Simmons. Beyer joins alongside a four-person team, which will advise clients on real estate M&A and private equity transactions.
Squire Patton Boggs added four new partners to its European offering. In Paris, private equity partner Anthony Guillaume and acquisition finance specialist Benjamin Marché have joined from DLA Piper and Shearman & Sterling respectively. The firm’s Milan private equity group has also been strengthened by the addition of Sara Belotti from Baker McKenzie as well as commodities and shipping specialist Marco Crusafio, who joined from HFW in Monaco.
Commenting on the Paris arrivals, global managing partner Jonathan Jones said: ‘I’m delighted to welcome Anthony and Benjamin, whose varied expertise in this area and experience of the market is well-established and wide-ranging. With this latest appointment, following on from our successful investment in Madrid with Teresa Zueco and a team of six PE lawyers, we are more than able to support our international PE and corporate clients on all their transactional and regulatory needs in Europe.’
The firm also saw some departures, as three lawyers left for McDermott Will & Emery to bolster its transatlantic regulatory offering. Elliot Golding and counsel Robin Campbell are to be integrated into McDermott’s Washington, DC office, while Rosa Barcelo joins the firm in Brussels.
In New York, Clifford Chance continued its US expansion drive with the recruitment of William Sturman and Kelly Labritz from Covington & Burling. The addition of the pair, who join the investment funds management department, means that the firm has now brought in 11 senior lateral hires across the Americas in the last 12 months.
Responding to the news, global head of funds and investment management Alexandra Davidson said: ‘We are delighted to welcome Bill and Kelly, whose arrival reflects our focus on continuing to scale our first-class US capabilities to support clients both within and outside the US.’
Finally, in Melbourne, HFW continued its rapid Australian expansion with the addition of Bronwyn Lincoln from Corrs Chambers Westgarth. Lincoln, who specialises in international commercial arbitration and cross border disputes, is the tenth partner hire the firm has made in the region so far this year, following the arrival of a significant contingent of Quinn Emmanuel’s Perth office.