Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Global 100 bolster ranks in Europe, Asia and the Middle East

Despite losing yet another partner in London this week to Paul Weiss, Kirkland & Ellis has continued to build its London bench with its hire of Macfarlanes tax partner Ceinwen Rees.

The firm brought tax partner James Morgan over from Linklaters earlier this month after losing Timothy Lowe and Cian O’Connor to Paul Weiss in September. Rees’ experience advising investment fund managers on structuring issues plays well to Kirkland’s core private equity focus, and alongside Morgan her hire helps bring the US giant’s London office back to strength. Both Rees and Morgan are Legal 500 leading individuals in corporate tax.

Jane Caskey became the latest partner to leave Norton Rose Fulbright in recent weeks, following the departure of cybersecurity duo Ffion Flockhart and Charlie Weston-Simons to Allen & Overy. The former global head of risk advisory and chief client officer moved to Linklaters this week, where she will take the roles of global head of risk advisory and head of clients and sectors.

‘Clients have been talking to us for some time about how the risk landscape has changed’, said Caskey. ‘It’s never been more complex. They’re under more scrutiny than ever before.’

She cited Linklaters’ commitment to building up its risk advisory practice as a key reason for her move. ‘We will be expanding to bring together a group of people with diverse and unique sets of skills’, she commented.

Global head of financial regulation Peter Bevan expanded on this point. ‘Growth to us isn’t just about headcount, it’s about building a seamless and holistic team of experts. We’re talking about strategically developing the right skills to support clients with evolving and emerging risks.’

Both Bevan and Caskey stressed that the firm’s risk advisory offering will be fully integrated with its legal practice. ‘Clients are finding themselves making choices that have legal impacts’, said Bevan. ‘They’re asking for an integrated solution of rigorous legal analysis, with is our bread and butter, with risk analysis and consulting services.’

Also in London, Gowling WLG has brought Naina Patel into its banking and finance practice as a partner. A specialist in structured finance, Patel has been a legal consultant since 2009, when she finished a two-year stint at Credit Suisse. Before that she was a senior lawyer at A&O, which she joined from Linklaters in 2002.

HFW has expanded its Australian and APAC offering with its hire of a five-partner corporate and projects team from MinterEllison. Adam Handley, Matthew Knox, and David Suttner join the firm in Perth, alongside Bryn Davis in Sydney and Perth and Bi Chen in Greater China, where the firm recently opened a Shenzhen office. Handley and Knox are both former MinterEllison Western Australia managing partners, while Handley also headed the firm’s China markets team, and Chen was its chief representative in Beijing.

Dechert’s Middle East investment funds head Phillip Sacks moved to White & Case in Dubai. A specialist in fund structuring, Sacks joins as a partner in both the firm’s global mergers and acquisitions practice, and its global private equity industry group.

Also in Dubai, King & Spalding recruited Al Tamimi & Co real estate finance partner Malek Al Rifai into its corporate, finance and investments practice.

Finally, Mishcon de Reya brought Withers US tax partners Timothy Burns and Wei Zhang into its private client practice in Hong Kong.