Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Greenberg makes Dutch real estate play in brisk week for lateral hires

Greenberg Traurig has made a notable team hire in Europe in the past week, with a key partner exiting a leading independent Euro Elite firm in favour of a large international player.

Greenberg, for which real estate is a signature practice in its home market of the US, has bolstered its Amsterdam offering with the addition of an Amsterdam and London team led by partner David van Dijk from leading Benelux independent NautaDutilh. Van Dijk is noted as a leading individual in the Netherlands chapter of The Legal 500 EMEA and has been the head of the international real estate practice at Nauta and a member of the supervisory board of the firm based in Amsterdam, where he has led a robust practice for many years, in both transactional real estate and disputes involving the asset class.

He commented: ‘Over the past decade, real estate as an asset class and hedging tool has become increasingly important for institutional investors. The real estate industry has matured and become global, with sophisticated institutional players. Transactions typically span multiple jurisdictions and require an integrated approach across countries and various specialisations. This creates the need for a truly integrated global approach. There are only a limited number of firms who can offer that. Historically, Greenberg Traurig has long been the leading firm in the international real estate industry. This makes the move a logical choice for our team.’

Meanwhile, the most significant move of the week came between two Global London firms as Alston & Bird’s year-old City base has just added global restructuring specialist Phillip Taylor, who joins after more than two decades spent at Sidley Austin.

Taylor, who has a long tail of experience in complex international restructuring, special situations, and insolvency matters and has been closely involved in many of the world’s most significant cases, joins Atlanta-based Alston a year after its launch in the UK, which opened with the hires of finance partners Andrew Petersen and James Spencer from K&L Gates as well as competition partner James Ashe-Taylor from Constantine Cannon, before adding structured finance partner James Fisher from Reed Smith in March.

Meanwhile, crime and disputes specialist Kingsley Napley added three partners in the past week. The new arrivals are John Young and David Davies, who join the corporate and commercial team from from fellow LB100 firms JMW and Bates Wells respectively, and Will MacFarlane, a family law specialist who joins from another regional LB100 firm, Royds Withy King.

Another Second 50 LB100 firm, Fladgate, has brought in some high-level experience to its C-suite with the addition of Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner global chief operating officer David Rowe as its COO from January next year.

Prior to joining BCLP in 2013, Rowe held a series of senior roles at PwC most recently as finance director of its global network. In statement, Fladgate said: ‘The appointment of a senior executive with the depth of experience that David brings represents an important building block in Fladgate’s new three-year business strategy of accelerating its successful model of providing a personal, agile and enterprising service to some of the world’s leading and fastest growing businesses and “trend initiator” brands as well as UHNWI’s and their advisers.’

Rowe added: ‘I have enjoyed my time at BCLP, it is a business that has grown fast and launched some market leading innovations. My decision to leave and join Fladgate is prompted by the fact that it has a refreshingly different vision, focused on building a highly personal, agile and enterprising service and a set of capabilities and products that will allow it to work on highly complex and fast-moving work. The opportunity to help drive this vision, grow the business and develop a highly differentiated market position, at a time when market changes in 2020 and beyond make this vision even more relevant, represents a fantastic opportunity.’

Elsewhere, Kennedys has enhanced its non-contentious insurance practice with the addition of Tobin Ashby from Pinsent Masons. He has over 18 years’ experience in the financial services industry, including a decade working in-house for a global insurance group.

He advises insurers, intermediaries, brokers, mutuals, investment platform providers, fintechs, banks, employee benefit consultants, fund managers and SIPP providers on their products and services, regulatory issues, all types of distribution and commercial arrangements and strategic transformation projects.

Tobin’s appointment follows the recent appointment of Amanda Hanmore, partner and UK Head of real estate and construction, who joined the firm’s corporate & commercial division from Trowers & Hamlins. It is the latest development in Kennedys’ growth agenda which this year has seen the firm report a record turnover of £238m, the opening of its first US West Coast office in San Francisco, a new association with Canada insurance specialist Dolden Wallace Folick, and the opening of a new office in Israel.

Further afield, national insurance player Hill Dickinson has boosted its Asia offering with the hire of DWF partner Jonathan Goacher in Singapore, following the closure of DWF’s local office. Primarily known for his expertise in the insurance sector, Goacher has more than 20 years’ experience in advising on regulatory issues, particularly guiding regulated businesses through the process of establishment in Asia, whether that be organically or by mergers/acquisitions, including dealing with local regulators.

Andrew Lee, the head of Hill Dickinson’s Singapore office said: ‘Jonathan joins us at a time when growth of our Singapore office is once again accelerating rapidly and we are expanding our practice to meet increased demand from clients. Regulation in this region is growing and becoming more challenging, and his combination of international expertise and local experience in this area will ideally position us to assist our clients.’