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Revolving Doors: Fried Frank expands London team with Goodwin trio as Orrick faces global losses

Leading the high-profile moves this week, Fried Frank has strengthened its London private equity practice with a triple hire from Goodwin. Christian Iwasko , Michelle Tong, and Priya Rupal have departed from Goodwin after a three-year stint, and bring with them experience at Sidley and Kirkland & Ellis.

Elsewhere in the City, Clifford Chance has bolstered its finance team with the addition of Blake Jones from Paul Hastings. Jones departs from Paul Hastings after five years, bringing extensive expertise in structured finance, having previously worked at Linklaters earlier in his career.

Despite this loss, Paul Hastings has ramped up its investigations, white collar, complex litigation, and arbitration practices with a double hire from Latham & Watkins. Oliver Browne has left Latham after 18 years, having most recently served as the London co-chair of the litigation and trial department. Stuart Alford KC left Latham in December 2023 after spending seven years as a partner in the firm’s litigation and trial department, specialising in white-collar crime. Prior to this, he spent four years at the Serious Fraud Office as head of banking fraud.

The firm has also recruited Jessica Ling for its European financial restructuring group in London. Ling, who joins from Akin, brings a wealth of experience advising bondholders, ad hoc committees, credit funds, hedge funds, institutional investors, and insolvency practitioners in complex cross-border restructurings and special situations.

Speaking to LB about her move, she said: ‘I was attracted by the prospect of working alongside talented colleagues as well as the entrepreneurship and collaborative spirit senior management have for the firm’s European and broader global financial restructuring practice. I am excited for the opportunity to grow my own cross-border, creditor-side restructuring practice on the elite platform that the global firm offers.’

She added: ‘The restructuring market is expecting to experience an increase in corporate insolvencies, but whether this is the huge wave that many have been predicting for the past 10 years is yet to be determined. We may start to see in-court restructurings become more litigious, as the appetite of creditors to challenge restructuring increases. The use of liability management exercises to restructure businesses will continue to be popular, as businesses look to avoid the risk and cost of in-court processes.’

Kirkland has welcomed partner Alex Amos to its investment funds group in London. Recognised by The Legal 500 for private funds, Amos joins from Macfarlanes, where he spent more than a decade, and brings with him extensive experience in structuring alternative investments and working with real assets and other strategies across various fund products.

In Birmingham, Shoosmiths has hired Ben Gardener as a partner for its commercial team. He joins from Pinsent Masons, where he spent 13 years, and he will be focusing his efforts on the mobility and technology sectors.

Pointing out three key drivers behind his decision to move, he explained: ‘Firstly, the firm has transformed significantly in recent years and the latest strategy is equally as impressive as it is ambitious. Secondly, Shoosmiths has chosen automotive and mobility as one of its core sectors and it is known for working with many of the world’s biggest brands. My expertise and experience are in the automotive and mobility sector so I want to complement and enhance the firm’s proposition in this space even further. Finally, despite experiencing a period of successful growth and transformation, Shoosmiths has maintained a fantastic culture, putting people at the heart of its business. The firm attracts talented, dedicated and down to earth people, which was another really appealing factor.’

Across the globe, Baker Botts has recruited patent litigators Robert Benson and Jeffrey Johnson, who have joined the firm in San Francisco and Houston, respectively. They come from Orrick, where Benson spent 12 years and Johnson spent eight years.

Orrick has also seen departures in Italy, with Patrizio Messina, head of Europe and structured finance, leading a team to Hogan Lovells. The team includes Annalisa Dentoni-Litta, Madeleine Horrocks, Alessandro Accrocca, and Paola Barometro, as part of a larger group of 23 M&A and finance lawyers moving from Orrick to Hogan Lovells, split between Rome and Milan offices.

Leading Italian independent BonelliErede has also added 15 lawyers from Orrick to its Milan office. The group is led by partner Alessandro De Nicola, and will also include Marco Dell’Antonia and Marco Mancino.

Over in New York, partner Eliot Relles has joined Dechert’s corporate and securities practice group. Relles comes from Weil, where he previously held the position of co-head of its finance group.

Finally, Oskana Lashko has moved to Morrison Foerster in New York after less than two years at DLA Piper. With over 15 years of experience, Lashko specialises in corporate restructuring and bankruptcy, representing various parties in Chapter 11 cases, out-of-court restructurings, cross-border insolvency matters, bankruptcy-related acquisitions, and insolvency-sensitive transactions and investments.