Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Freshfields brings in Kirkland restructuring partner as White & Case expands corporate practice

Restructuring, real estate, corporate and employment were the focus of the lateral hiring game this week, as firms returned to recruitment with renewed vigour.

The headline move was at Freshfields Bruckhaus Deringer, where Lisa Stevens arrived from Kirkland & Ellis. The move sees Stevens break her streak of working for US firms, having trained at Mayer Brown before going on to Gibson Dunn and Latham & Watkins before Kirkland. At those firms, she has worked on bespoke special situations transactions on behalf of global clients.

Freshfields’ global restructuring lead Ken Baird explained that the new arrival benefits the firm’s international offering: ‘Lisa’s arrival will add real weight to our offering to credit funds, not just in London but globally. We already act in many special situations across the main global financial centres and Lisa will help connect that work and develop a broader offering for our credit fund clients with global reach. Lisa will add another great partner to our joined up global team in this area.’

Meanwhile, White & Case has bolstered its corporate ranks by recruiting Di Yu into the London office. An expert in private M&A transactions, joint ventures, equity raisings, corporate reorganisations and listed company corporate advisory issues, Yu joins her new firm as a partner, having previously served as an associate at Slaughter and May.

Head of global M&A John Reiss said: ‘The continued growth of our M&A practice in London and EMEA ensures we are best placed to advise our clients on their complex cross-border public and private M&A transactions. The addition of Di Yu in London supports this growth in a key jurisdiction and further strengthens our sector expertise and specialisms, in particular our energy, financial institutions and technology industry focuses.’

On the firm’s global M&A strategy, executive committee member Oliver Brettle added: ‘We remain committed to pursuing strategic growth in London as the role of the City as a global financial centre and the use of English law for cross-border transactions continues. Di is the eighth lateral partner to join our global mergers & acquisitions practice in London since the start of 2021, in addition to four promotions to partner in the team, which together demonstrate our sustained growth in this important practice area.’

At RPC, Arash Rajai has joined the City real estate and construction team. Previously a senior associate at Herbert Smith Freehills, Rajai has taken up a partner position at his new firm and specialises in non-contentious issues relating to real estate development and energy projects.

Elsewhere, Osborne Clarke welcomed Philip Tansley into its London cyber, tech and data disputes team. A specialist in complex insurance disputes, cyber incident response, technology and privacy disputes, Tansley joins the team from Shoosmiths, where he was a partner.

Also in London, Freeths has added Fiona Wilson as a partner in its family team. Experienced in all areas of family law, Wilson has particular niches in fertility and surrogacy law, kinship and inheritance disputes, and arrives from Goodman Derrick, bringing with her a director and legal assistant.

Outside of the UK, Pinsent Masons developed its Dublin employment practice by hiring Deirdre Lynch from ByrneWallace. Experienced in both contentious and non-contentious issues, Lynch will lead the firm’s employment group across Ireland and Northern Ireland.

Finally, in Germany, Eversheds Sutherland has expanded into Frankfurt by hiring corporate and M&A partner Steffen Schniepp. Formerly of PWC, Schniepp will be the first partner in the new office, which is set to open in January 2023. Further additions to build out the office are expected in due course.

Speaking to Legal Business, European managing partner Helen Thomas said: ‘Germany is a really exciting market with lots of options, and Frankfurt has been an ambition for some time. Having Steffen on board as our first partner is great – he’s a transactional lawyer who covers a broad range of sectors, and we expect him to work across Germany, Europe and the U.S. in line with our global strategy.’