Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Frenetic recruitment continues as firms look abroad for additions

In what has been a fast-paced start to 2021, a host of firms including Hogan Lovells, Shearman & Sterling, Clyde & Co, Goodwin, Greenberg Traurig and HFW have contributed to a largely international set of lateral partner hires this past week.

Starting in the UK, Allen & Overy has lost a distinguished solicitor-advocate in the form of Matthew Gearing QC, who leaves to join heavyweight set Essex Court Chambers. Taking silk in 2014, Gearing QC was mainly based in A&O’s Hong Kong office where he co-headed the firm’s global arbitration group.  

A&O Hong Kong partner Matthew Hodgson commented: ‘Matt is among the leading international arbitration advocates of his generation, as well as being a great mentor and friend.  We will miss his special combination of intellectual rigour, good humour and sheer stamina around the office, but wish him all the best.’

Also in London, Fieldfisher has strengthened its technology, outsourcing and privacy team with the hire of partner Rehman Noormohamed from Acuity Law. Noormohamed, who led Acuity’s TMT, privacy and IP law practice, mainly services clients in the manufacturing, automotive, financial services, retail, food and drink, life sciences and public sectors.

Rob Shooter, head of technology at Fieldfisher, said: ‘Rem brings a wealth of expert knowledge and experience in the technology field and will further strengthen our client offering thanks to his on-the-ground consulting work.’

Further afield, Hogan Lovells has made an ambitious set of acquisitions in Paris, bringing in a two-partner corporate team from Baker McKenzie. Focused on M&A and private equity, partners Matthieu Grollemund and Hélène Parent will be joined by five associates. At Baker McKenzie, Grollemund co-headed the Paris corporate department.

David Gibbons, Hogan Lovells’ global head of corporate, commented: ‘They will add significant depth to our existing team in Paris who are already executing a broad range of sophisticated transactions for clients. Furthermore, Matthieu and Hélène’s reputation for excellence in technology and life sciences M&A aligns with the strengths of the firm and our own focus on highly-regulated industries.’

Clyde & Co has added to its construction disputes expertise after recruiting Covington’s former head of international arbitration in the Middle East. Phillip Norman, who joins as a partner, has over 25 years’ experience representing contractors, public bodies and major developers. Norman will spread his time across the UK, Asia and Africa.

Elsewhere, Shearman & Sterling has bolstered its recently re-opened Munich office with the arrival two partners from Linklaters – Florian Harder and Jann Jetter. Harder specialises in M&A and private equity transactions, while Jetter predominantly focuses on tax-oriented group structuring and the structuring of national and international M&A. Shearman had closed down its office in Germany’s private equity hub in 2013 before relaunching at the start of this year.

Ward McKimm, European managing partner, commented: ‘Given the market opportunity domestically, Florian and Jann’s experience and expertise will be key to the growth of our transaction focused capabilities in Germany, with the prospect of further strategic developments across our broader European platform.’

Also strengthening its German presence was Goodwin, through the hire of fund formation and regulatory partner Joachim Kayser from Dechert. Kayser, who joins alongside associate Guido Schlikker, is ranked as a leading lawyer in his field by The Legal 500.

Greenberg Traurig has continued the expansion of its Asia real estate practice with the addition of Mori Inada to its Tokyo office. Inada, who was a partner at Morrison & Foerster, has over 15 years’ experience representing private equity funds, investment banks, real estate developers and investors in real estate transactions in Asia.

In a major addition for HFW’s Singapore transactional bench, the firm has hired partner Peter Zaman from Reed Smith. Zaman, who was Reed Smith’s Singapore managing partner, arrives during an expansive period for HFW in Asia, after recently hiring a large transactional team from Locke Lord in Hong Kong.

Mert Hifizi, HFW’s Singapore office head, said: ‘Peter is a genuine market leader and has a unique skillset in climate finance and sustainability – he is the region’s go-to lawyer for organisations looking to manage environmental risk.’

Also expanding in Singapore was Withers, which has hired family law partner Ivan Cheong from local firm Harry Elias, which was partnered with Eversheds Sutherland.

Withers has also assembled a ‘dream team’ of sports lawyers in Milan, hiring Pierfilippo Capello and Andrea Bozza to establish a new practice there. Capello and Bozza, who were both partners at Osborne Clarke, will bring experience on major sports deals spanning the likes of football, Formula 1 and golf.

Finally, Reed Smith has bolstered its Athens office with the hire of corporate partner Dimitris Assimakis from Norton Rose Fulbright (NRF). Assimakis, who was head of NRF’s Greek energy practice, advises on corporate matters in the power and gas, energy infrastructure, clean technologies and renewable energy markets.

Assimakis is the eleventh partner to join Reed Smith’s global corporate practice in the last 12 months. Delphine Currie, co-chair of its global corporate department, commented: ‘We’ve made significant investments in the global corporate group in the past 18 months and this most recent hire will greatly benefit our clients across the energy sector.’