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Revolving doors: Global 100 firms make heavyweight international hires in key markets

In another busy week for international lateral hires, Allen & Overy (A&O), Kirkland & Ellis, Pinsent Masons and Reed Smith all made key appointments abroad, while London-based public international law boutique Volterra Fietta hired an overseas government specialist.

Pinsents marked the official opening of its Australian offices by announcing the hire of infrastructure disputes specialist Peter Megens from King & Spalding’s Singapore office. Megens has experience in all forms of disputes work and has advised on legal matters relating to a number of Australia’s major infrastructure projects, including the Melbourne CityLink Project and the Melbourne Train network, as well as experience advising in projects spanning the Asia-Pacific region.

David Rennick, partner and head of Pinsent Masons in Australia said: ‘I could not have imagined a better way to mark the official opening of our Australia business than with the hire of a pre-eminent practitioner like Peter. He is a big name in the market, having been one of the founding fathers of international arbitration in Australia, and a perfect fit for our infrastructure-focused practice given his links into Singapore and Asia more broadly.’

In Warsaw, A&O has bolstered its global IP practice with the appointment of Professor Krystyna Szczepanowska-Kozłowska as its head of IP in Poland. Szczepanowska-Kozłowska, who joins from DLA Piper, has experience in both contentious and non-contentious IP matters, including patent, trademark, copyright, competition and personal data protection law. Corporate partner Jacek Michalski said that as one of the fastest-growing economies in Europe, Warsaw has a sound platform for developing a comprehensive IP offering. ‘We are aware that international corporations attach huge importance to their legal advisers having strong IP teams locally in the regions where they operate, and Central and Eastern Europe is one of these key areas,’ he said.

Elsewhere in Europe, Reed Smith has added to its financial industry group with the appointment of Fernand Arsanios from Gide Loyrette Nouel. Arsanios has handled a wide range of acquisition finance transactions ranging from private leveraged buyouts and public-to-private acquisitions to corporate acquisitions. He also has broad experience advising on international project finance transactions for many of the world’s premier financial institutions and credit export agencies.

In Munich, Kirkland & Ellis has made a key lateral hire from Global 100 rival Latham & Watkins, bringing in Jörg Kirchner, boosting its corporate offering in the region. Kirchner, who was a founding partner in the Munich office of Latham, is a heavyweight private equity and M&A specialist.

‘We couldn’t be more pleased to welcome Jörg to the Firm,’ said Volker Kullmann, a partner in Kirkland’s corporate practice. ‘His proficiency in advising top-tier clients on their most significant transactions perfectly complements our international private equity and M&A teams as we continue to enhance our offerings in Europe.’

Finally, Volterra Fietta has strengthened its international trade and investment offering with the hire of Christophe Bondy from the Trade Law Bureau of the Canadian Departments of Justice and of Foreign Affairs, Trade and Development. Bondy, who held the role of senior counsel and deputy director since 2007, was lead counsel in a number of significant matters for Canada, including the ongoing NAFTA arbitration Eli Lilly v Government of Canada, currently one of the most high-profile investor-state disputes in the world. Prior to that, he worked in the international arbitration practices of Shearman & Sterling and then Hughes Hubbard & Reed, based in Paris.

Commenting on the appointment, co-founder Robert Volterra said: ‘Christophe brings a wealth of public international law expertise and international dispute resolution experience to the firm. He is a natural fit for our expanding team of specialists and, in particular, further strengthens our trade and investment disputes practices. He is a veteran of the elite group of specialist public international law practitioners and is accustomed to operating at the top level globally. His deep knowledge and understanding of the sector will be of significant benefit to our clients around the world – both companies and governments.’