Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Holiday lull over with spate of lateral hires at home and abroad

In the most significant move of last week, Baker McKenzie has hired Sidley Austin’s former City managing partner Matthew Dening, who re-joins the firm after leaving as partner in 14 years ago.

As co-head of Sidley’s London finance team, the hire is a significant addition for Bakers as it sets about strengthening its structured capital markets offering. Dening will join the firm later this year, and features as part of its wider strategy of enhancing its corporate offering, which has resulted in an array of key lateral hires throughout 2018.

Watson Farley & Williams (WFW) secured a solid City lateral last week with the addition of Jim Bell from Bird & Bird. Bell had been considered a ‘rising star’ by Bird & Bird when hiring the aviation partner in 2016 from Allen & Overy and brings with him expertise advising banks, ECAs, funds, airlines and helicopter operators to WFW.

Co-managing partner at WFW, Chris Lowe, said: ‘Aviation has been one of the firm’s core areas of expertise since its foundation in 1982 and Jim joining us enhances our practice as it expands to take advantage of the opportunities represented by a dynamic aviation sector.’

DLA Piper made an addition of its own in the form of insurance and dispute resolution partner Rebecca Hopkirk, who joins from RPC. The firm also recruited on the continent, with the addition of Dennis Kunschke from Allen & Overy, who will join DLA in Frankfurt this December.

Howard Kennedy also bolstered its city ranks with the hire of James Wilson as partner, who will now head up the AIM team at the firm. Wilson joins from Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) where he focused on corporate finance transaction and M&A as partner.

Finishing off the City moves, Brown Rudnick has hired private equity partner Philip Watkins in a bid to improve the firm’s cross-border M&A capability. Watkins had previously been a partner at Katten Muchin Rosenman.

Elsewhere in the UK, TLT grew its clean energy team with the appointment of Nick Shenken as a clean energy and real estate partner in Glasgow. Shenken joins from Pinsent Masons, where he had been for two decades after initially launching the firm’s energy and real estate practice in Scotland.

Osborne Clarke was busy, making two significant employment partner appointments. Employment partner Andrew Chamberlain joined the firm in the UK having previously been the head of the employment group at Addleshaw Goddard and more recently head of employment at DWF, bringing with him experience advising on employment aspects of M&A deals and multijurisdictional outsourcing projects.

Also joining the firm is Anna Elliot, previously based in Sydney as partner at Squire Patton Boggs. Elliot now joins Osborne Clarke with experience of recruitment and staffing as well as the entertainment and technology sectors.

Simmons & Simmons decided to make inroads in Italy with the hire of a new IP team in Millan, with partners Stefania Bergia and Giulio Enrico Sironi joining the firm from Italian outfit Vanzetti e Associati.

Eversheds Sutherland also hired on the continent, with Eric Bergamin joining the firm as head of the pensions practice in the Netherlands, bringing with him his wider pensions team. Also joining the firm is Natascha Geaedts, who joins the real estate team after co-founding vanState Advocaten, an Amsterdam-based real estate boutique.

Finishing off the international round-up, US firm Paul Hastings made a hire in its homeland, securing the services of bankruptcy and restructuring lawyer Pedro Jimenez, who joins from Jones Day where he was partner. Jimenez joins the firm in New York, as Paul Hastings continues its drive to enhance the restructuring and finance practices at the firm.