Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Gibson Dunn recruits Hong Kong regulatory team as CC expands funds practice

Gibson Dunn has significantly strengthened its Hong Kong bench after hiring a four-lawyer regulatory team from Herbert Smith Freehills.

Arriving with three associates, partner William Hallatt brings a broad Asia Pacific practice focused on contentious and advisory regulatory advice for major global financial institutions. Gibson Dunn chair and managing partner Ken Doran described Hallatt as ‘a terrific addition to the firm.’ He added: ‘He has built a leading cross-Asia practice as a trusted advisor on financial services regulatory issues, and his deep experience, strong relationships and market knowledge will integrate seamlessly with our leading global regulatory enforcement platform.’

In the US, Clifford Chance has turned to an in-house expert for its latest partner hire, appointing Susan Burkhardt to its global funds and investment management team. Arriving from Apollo Global Management where she was a managing director, she also has experience from two other large US investment managers: the DE Shaw Group and GSO Capital Partners.

At CC, Burkhardt will advise on the formation and ongoing strategy of private investment funds, accounts and structures with a particular focus on credit and private equity. Global managing partner Matthew Layton commented: ‘Her experience in the US working in-house, including with valued clients of the firm, means she brings with her critical insight as to how we can best support stakeholders in the sector.’

Meanwhile Deloitte has expanded its UK legal arm to 170 lawyers with the hire of pensions partner Claire Bell from DLA Piper. Bell, who will be based in the firm’s Manchester office, will be responsible for building Deloitte’s pensions law offering in the UK as head of the practice.

According to Michael Castle, UK managing partner of Deloitte Legal, Bell’s arrival ‘will help bridge the gap between our legal and pensions businesses.’ He added that she will provide an ‘end-to-end solution for clients’ by working alongside both the firm’s M&A, outsourcing and employment lawyers as well as its actuaries, consultants and administrators.

In the City, Baker Botts has hired a partner from McDermott Will & Emery in the form of power and renewables partner Shashank Krishna. Krishna predominantly assists clients on M&A, joint venture and project development across the energy and power sectors. Despite being headquartered in London, Krishna will act for clients spanning Europe, the Middle East, Asia and Africa.

‘The strength, depth, reputation and global coverage of Baker Botts’ energy practice is a huge attraction for me. I am excited to be able to leverage my network in the energy industry and service my existing and future clients with Baker Botts’ international energy platform’, he said.

Meanwhile, veteran tax partner David Irvine is leaving Kirkland & Ellis to join the London office of Goodwin. With over 20 years’ experience, Irvine is recognised in the market as a leader in advising on the tax aspects of financing and restructuring transactions, particularly in the context of financially troubled debtors.

Michael Halford, head of Goodwin’s private investment funds practice for Europe and Asia, said: ‘We continue to see a very strong flow of mandates from clients raising mid-market and large-cap funds and David’s experience across multiple asset classes will be invaluable as we further bolster our existing bench.’

Reed Smith has added former Allen & Overy commodities finance partner Daniel Birch to its London energy group. A US-qualified lawyer, Birch’s practice focuses on physical commodities across hedging, structured products and financial indices.  Praj Samant, chair of Reed Smith’s energy and natural resources group, praised Birch as a ‘very talented lawyer with a standout reputation in the energy and commodities sector’.

Shearman & Sterling arbitration partner Alexander Uff is swapping private practice for the Bar as he heads to Quadrant Chambers. Originally qualifying as a barrister in 2007, Uff advises and provides advocacy to corporations, states and state-owned entities in complex international arbitrations.

Head of chambers, Simon Croall QC, said: ‘Alexander’s arrival will add strength and depth to the service we provide especially in the international arbitration, energy and mining sectors. His experience, skill and reputation will be well known to many in the market and make him a fantastic addition to what are key areas of strategic focus for Quadrant.’

A trio of family law partners, Julian Ribet, Alistair Myles and Laura Geraghty, have set up a new specialist practice focused on high-net-worth and ultra-high-net-worth individuals in London: Ribet Myles. All three were previously partners at family law boutique Levison Meltzer Piggott.

Ribet said: ‘London’s family law scene is currently undergoing a changing of the guard as the stalwarts of the past 30 years look to retirement. Alistair, Laura and I were trained by, and partners with, some of the best lawyers of their generation and we are looking forward to continuing to provide high-level family law services with Ribet Myles.’

Royds Withy King has bolstered its property litigation credentials with the appointment of partner Angela Gregson, who joins from Child & Child. Gregson, a solicitor-advocate, typically acts for substantial property developers, owners and private clients on various development disputes. She is also an experienced mediator.

Also leaving Child & Child is family law partner Nina Lake, who is joining Howard Kennedy. Lake specialises in a range of family law matters, including financial settlements on divorce or separation as well as pre- and post-nuptial agreements.

Finally, Bird & Bird has expanded its Swedish finance and financial regulation practice via the appointment of partner Olof Wetterling, who joins from Stockholm firm MAQS. An experienced banking and finance lawyer with in-house experience as chief legal officer at Danske Bank, Wetterling advises both finance providers and borrowers on a wide range of debt financing transactions.

At Bird & Bird, Wetterling will be tasked with advising on financing opportunities across the Nordic region’s private equity and real estate markets. Mårten Willamo, managing partner of Bird & Bird in Sweden, commented: ‘We have a strong private equity practice in the Nordics and Olof’s extensive experience working with financial institutions on transactions and his in-depth knowledge of the Nordic market will be a real asset to our team.’