Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Global 100 firms expand in the City as Australian market sees lateral hiring spike

In the City, Kiran Arora has left BCLP to join Eversheds Sutherland as a new partner in its corporate and energy practice.

Ranked in The Legal 500 as a Leading Individual, Arora specialises in sustainable energy and infrastructure projects, bringing with him more than 20 years’ experience advising on project development, project financing, and M&A transactions.

Stephen Hill, global co-head of Eversheds’ energy practice, explained his goals for the practice: ‘We want to be the preferred legal firm for our energy clients, doing the largest-scale transactions and working on the most complex disputes. We are coming to a critical juncture in the world’s energy transition, and Eversheds wants to be at the front of that.’

Quinn Emanuel announced that it has hired Gemma Anderson as a partner in its London litigation practice. Joining from Morrison Foerster, Anderson’s practice centres on privacy and data protection, contentious insolvency, technology, and contractual disputes. She represented Fujitsu Services in the Post Office Horizon IT inquiry, and is currently engaged in representing SoftBank Group in connection with the $440m claim by Credit Suisse related to the collapse of Greensill Capital.

Meanwhile, Ropes & Gray announced its intention to enhance its London private equity team, with the acquisition of Paul Armstrong as a new partner. Armstrong will join from global investment firm Permira, where he served as the London managing director. Over his 16-year tenure at Permira, he provided counsel on cross-border private equity mergers and acquisitions, leveraged buyouts, growth investments, and take-private transactions. He also advised on various aspects of public markets transactions and listed company governance worldwide.

Wilkie Farr has lost a partner from its London corporate and financial services group to Skadden.  Sebastian FitzGerald brings substantial expertise in providing counsel on intricate cross-border financings spanning various sectors and credit products. His focus includes leveraged buyouts, direct lending, restructurings, and special situations investing. He has represented prominent financial sponsors, funds, and financial institutions, offering his services in European and US financings.

Elsewhere, Simmons & Simmons announced the addition of new partner Sean Geraghty to its UK corporate team. Having spent two decades at Dechert in London, Geraghty brings experience from a practice that encompasses both M&A and equity capital markets. He specialises in both public and private M&A, joint ventures, and general corporate matters. His ECM portfolio includes IPOs, secondary offerings, and public company corporate finance affairs. He is set to divide his time between Simmons’ London and Bristol offices.

In an interview with Legal Business, Geraghty said: ‘I want to grow the Bristol team and enhance, what is already a strong office, further. There is a lot of growth in Bristol, and in today’s modern way of being an agile law firm, it makes sense for people to be able to work in different places.’

Asked about the challenges he might face in his new role, Geraghty responded: ‘There are always the macro-economic challenges that we are all facing, but I am hoping that we are heading towards a more stable environment. M&A is on the uptick and we are all trying hard to get moving.’

He added: ‘It isn’t risk free, but I have gone to a firm with a bigger UK-facing platform. You can never tell though – every move brings with it an element of risk, but it is a challenge worth taking on.’

Elsewhere, five new partners have joined Keystone Law across multiple practice areas: Employment lawyer, Richard Fox from Kingsley Napley; corporate practitioner, Matthew Anson from Paul Hastings; commercial lawyers, Lucy Pringle from Womble Bond Dickson and Mailin Bala from Gateley; and technology specialist, Alasdair Taylor from Mayer Brown.

‘Only people who can succeed on their own two feet come to Keystone,’ said Pringle. ‘Conventional law firms are not made for working mothers or those who do not fit the mould and I wanted to escape those internal politics. I don’t want to conform to that system.’

Questioned about the potential pitfalls that moving to the alternative platform model might present, Pringle said: ‘The model is very flat – there are associates dotted around that you can potentially access, but you don’t have the conventional pyramid structure. This means that I might hit a sticky period where I have so much work, that I will have to decide whether to take on an employee of my own.’

She added: ‘Big law is being slow to evolve, and it isn’t moving quickly enough to help retain really talented people – especially women and ethnically diverse people, which Keystone is cleaning up on the back of.’

In Surrey, Moore Barlow has added Legal 500 Rising Star, Anna Iceton, as a new partner in its Guildford property disputes team. Having previously served as associate director at BCLP, Iceton brings nearly two decades of experience as a property litigator. Her expertise spans all aspects of property litigation and dispute resolution, encompassing specialised areas such as telecoms.

Lastly in the UK, Fieldfisher hired Chris Keane from Clarke Willmott as an insolvency litigation partner in its Manchester office. Bringing experience in both contentious personal and corporate insolvency matters, Keane serves as a trusted adviser to a diverse clientele, including banks, financiers, insolvency practitioners, directors, and stakeholders.

‘I want to considerably grow and develop the contentious insolvency practice within Fieldfisher,’ Keane told Legal Business. ‘The firm has a very solid contentious and insolvency practice in and around the City and I want to see that reflected and equalled in the north of England.’

In Australia, Squire Patton Boggs has hired Rachel Jones from Gilbert + Tobin as a partner in its financial services team in Sydney. Jones brings with her over two decades of experience in leveraged, acquisition, and project finance, as well as structured asset finance and corporate finance. Jones also spent seven years at Freshfields in London and has in-house experience through secondments at The Royal Bank of Scotland, Barclays Capital, GE Money, and GE Commercial Finance.

Her previous work includes advising Telstra on the financing of the $1.6bn acquisition of Digicel Pacific and guiding the syndicate of lenders on the financing of the A$2.35 bn acquisition by Aurizon of One Rail Australia.

Also in Sydney, Pinsent Masons has expanded its financial services capabilities through the appointment of partner Hannah Griffiths to lead the firm’s Australian restructuring and insolvency practice.

Arriving from Gilchrist Connell with a team of specialised lawyers, Griffiths has joined Pinsents to head the growth of its restructuring and insolvency practice in Australia. She will advise clients on domestic and cross-border restructuring and insolvency matters. Her advisory scope includes corporate restructuring, personal restructuring and insolvency, catering to insolvency practitioners, formal external administrations, and corporate and private financiers and creditors.

Finally, Ruth Dawes has joined HFW as a partner specialising in environment and climate change matters in Sydney. Formerly at Baker McKenzie, Dawes provides comprehensive advice on various aspects of environmental and planning law. Her particular emphasis lies in major projects, sustainability, climate change, and renewable energy.