Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Global 100 firms kick off new year with heavyweight hires

Continuing the frenetic pace of recruitment displayed throughout 2021, 2022 has begun with Allen & Overy (A&O) adding an established antitrust partner from Sidley.

Kristina Nordlander was previously global co-head of antitrust at Sidley, and she has more than 23 years’ experience advising clients on both sides of the Atlantic. Her practice has a broad EU antitrust and EU litigation focus, with a particular strength in the tech and life sciences sectors.

Nordlander will be based in A&O’s London office but will continue to spend significant time in Brussels. Philip Mansfield, partner and global co-head of antitrust at A&O, said: ‘Her depth of experience and range of expertise in terms of clients and geography fit perfectly with our strategy for growth. Kristina’s hire is an illustration of our commitment to investing in our global antitrust team, as a strategic priority of the firm.’

Mayer Brown has also pulled off an ambitious appointment, hiring ex-Clifford Chance debt capital markets senior associate Peter Pears in London as a partner. Pears typically acts for issuers and underwriters on a range of domestic and international capital market offerings. His clients include financial institutions, major corporations, sovereigns, municipalities and supranationals across Africa, Asia, Europe and the United States.

Pears hailed Mayer Brown’s ‘global platform and stellar reputation in debt capital markets’ as major pull factors, adding: ‘I look forward to working with my new colleagues to assist clients with the significant changes that are on the horizon in capital markets.’

In a notable loss for Travers Smith, Proskauer has hired finance partner Barry Newman in London. Newman has a practice spanning domestic and cross-border leveraged finance and infrastructure investments, largely assisting private equity sponsors, corporate borrowers and infrastructure investors.

‘Increasingly our clients expect their preferred counsel to have on hand finance attorneys with experience representing borrowers and PE shops. The addition of Barry to the team meets this need perfectly’, said Mary Kuusisto, co-head of Proskauer’s London office.

It has been a productive week for Withers, as the firm expanded in both London and Hong Kong. In the City, Withers hired residential property partner Pervaze Ahmed from Howard Kennedy, where he was head of residential property. Ahmed advises on the sale and purchase of high-value properties in the London market. He works with a broad range of clients and has an extensive network amongst property agents and banks.

And in Hong Kong, the firm has welcomed partner Paul Jebely from Pillsbury to launch a new global asset finance practice. Jebely primarily represents ultra-high-net-worth individuals and their business enterprises around the world. His clients presently include many notable individuals listed in the Forbes Rich List as well as major corporations, both listed and privately held.

Jeremy Wakeham, CEO of Withers’ business division, commented: ‘There’s no doubt that Paul, and the team of current and new Withers lawyers and staff that we will bring together around him, will be the market leaders in the private asset finance space, namely involving aircraft and yachts, and will significantly enhance the profile of our existing work involving such assets.’

Meanwhile Eversheds Sutherland has re-hired real estate litigation partner Rob Phillips from Hugh James. Phillips is an accomplished real estate disputes lawyer, with over 16 years’ experience advising across the full range of property disputes, including commercial landlord and tenant, development and freehold disputes.

Cooley has made a striking in-house move in Singapore, appointing Tim Pitrelli as a partner in the firm’s capital markets practice. He arrives from Goldman Sachs, where he served as a Singapore-based executive director and senior counsel in the investment banking division.

A veteran of the Singapore legal market, Pitrelli brings considerable expertise in IPOs, follow-on offerings and other regional and international cross-border transactions. Dave Peinsipp, co-chair of Cooley’s global capital markets practice, said of Pitrelli: ‘His experience at Goldman will prove to be invaluable for our issuer clients, while also deepening our expertise in representing our investment banking clients.’

In Germany, Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner has boosted its tax practice with the addition of partner Heiko Stoll from GSK Stockmann. Stoll focuses on acquisition finance, structured finance, tax aspects of mergers and acquisitions, cross-border tax planning and corporate restructuring.

And in Hong Kong, Lewis Silkin has bolstered its litigation credentials with addition of partner Jezamine Fewins from Stephenson Harwood. Fewins has specialisms in both employment and intellectual property disputes and has acted for local companies as well as multinationals with operations in Hong Kong.

Fewins said: ‘I’m very proud to have joined Lewis Silkin’s renowned Hong Kong office. The firm has quickly built up an outstanding reputation in the local market and I look forward to collaborating closely with my new clients and colleagues alike.’