Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Insurance-focused firms invest as Clydes expands in South Africa and DWF hires a former managing partner

Last week saw a flurry of announcements as firms revealed their hires made over the summer. Clyde & Co invested in its South Africa office with a lateral from Linklaters’ ally Webber Wentzel, DWF hired the former managing partner of Anderson Strathern and Holman Fenwick Willan (HFW) hired a partner from Chadbourne & Parke’s City office.

Clydes, which opened up in Johannesburg in May 2014, invested further in its outpost by hiring Ernie van der Vyver from Webber Wentzel. Having led the South African firm’s financial regulatory practice, van der Vyver joins Clydes’ corporate insurance group with a view to increasing its transactional and regulatory capability in the country. He joined Webber Wentzel as a partner in March 2010 from Cliffe Dekker Hofmeyr.

Meanwhile, peer insurance firm HFW hired financial institutions specialist Christopher Cardona into its London office. A disputes partner, Cardona specialises in mandates from the Latin American region and joins the firm’s three partner team currently servicing the area.

Paul Wordley, a senior re-insurance partner and member of HFW’s Strategy Board said: ‘We are seeing significant opportunities in the insurance and reinsurance sector in Latin America and Christopher’s reputation and extensive expertise in this area greatly enhances our service offering to clients and underlines our commitment to the global insurance market.’

Despite having a flat year financially, DWF continued its expansion into Scotland with the hire of Andrew Lothian, Anderson Strathern’s former managing partner. Lothain, who led the Scottish outfit for five years till September last year, will head up the firm’s casualty and general insurance practice in Scotland. He advises insurers, self-insured corporates and public bodies in disease, motor and catastrophic injury cases.

Meanwhile, after Legal Business revealed the departure of Olswang former corporate head Fabrizio Carpanini, Dorsey & Whitney announced the firm had hired him to lead its UK and European private equity (PE) practice. Carpanini, who also sat on Olswang’s management and executive committees and led its PE group. Primarily his experience has focused on institutional-facing PE deals, institutional and management buy-outs, as well as development capital and buy-and-build transactions.

Finally, in a busy week for hires, King & Wood Mallesons hired Jones Day partner Jean-Louis Martin to lead its real estate offering in Paris as well as co-head its Europe and Middle East sector group. Alongside Martin, the firm, which has invested strongly in real estate after recruiting a team of lawyers from Eversheds led by William Naunton and Clive Jones, also brought across a three-lawyer team from Jones Day.

Martin covers all aspects of real estate law and investments, with a particular focus on acquisitions and sales of assets, portfolios, property companies and the formation of real estate funds. The team has advises real estate investment funds, institutional investors, sovereign wealth funds as well as French and international sponsors.