Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: International firms bolster teams in life sciences, litigation and energy

Cooley has bolstered its London corporate and life sciences practice through its acquisition of new partner Simon Amies, ending an impressive 21-year stretch at Covington & Burling.  Amies advises a variety of clients, including investors, investment banks and companies in the technology and life sciences space on M&A, IPOs and capital transactions.

Amies explained the rationale behind his move: ‘I have been really impressed with how Cooley in London has developed since its launch in 2015. The firm has built an exceptionally strong technology and life sciences platform, and my practice of supporting innovative life sciences companies through their lifecycle fits perfectly as this in the DNA of the firm.’

Reflecting on the potential challenges he might face in his new role, Amies said: ‘The current economic situation makes it challenging for companies to raise capital, so they need to be flexible in considering their funding and other strategic options. Our clients are looking to us to be creative and thoughtful as we navigate them through these challenges.’

Meanwhile, highly rated commercial litigator Hannah Field has been recruited by Shoosmiths from Goodwin with the aim of enhancing its disputes offering. With over 20 years’ experience handling both cross-border and domestic disputes as a partner at Weil and White & Case before Goodwin, Field’s impressive client roster includes Goldman Sachs, Credit Suisse, Facebook and Providence Equity.

Field said: ‘Shoosmiths traditionally has a very strong history in real estate and has invested in heavily building out private equity, commercial and corporate work over the years. It is now growing out its litigation capabilities which is a fantastic opportunity for me. Shoosmiths’ commitment and energy for excellence and growth in this area really appealed to me.

‘The task ahead is getting the firm known for top-calibre litigation work and moving that viewpoint of the firm towards the litigation side as well as the real estate and corporate side.’

In the private client space, Boodle Hatfield has announced the addition of wills, trusts and estates disputes partner, Nicola Bushby, to its London practice. Previously a partner at Wilsons and Irwin Mitchell, Bushby focuses on claims for breach of trust, inter-family disputes and Court of Protection work on behalf of high-net-worth individuals and families.

Bushby said: ‘I have done a lot of advocacy work for tribunals and my Court of Protection expertise really stands out. My strategy is to work exceptionally hard which has always been the cornerstone of my approach.’

When asked about the challenges she might face in her new role, Bushby replied: ‘I have the ongoing challenge of being a working mum which is a full-time job in itself. Juggling both work and motherhood is always a challenge, but I like to think I have done it successfully over the last ten plus years. Keeping an eye on the kids and not losing sight of how important family is, is crucial as they are the structure underpinning me – if they are happy and supporting me, then that makes for a good life.’

Across the Atlantic, Jon Kubek has ended his ten-year stint at Willkie Farr & Gallagher to join Paul Hastings’ New York M&A practice. Kubek is retained by corporate clients for his advice on mergers, acquisitions, carve-outs and joint ventures, as well as proxy contests and shareholder activism defence.

Kubek told Legal Business: ‘In addition to the general market headwinds M&A has faced this year, any change will always require some acclimation. However, the undeniable momentum and growth at Paul Hastings is incredibly exciting and presents myriad new opportunities.’

When asked about his approach to his new role, he replied: ‘I have always had a client-focused approach to my practice. Additionally, I take seriously and try to place a strong emphasis on training and assisting junior colleagues to enable them to grow their skills and better support and serve our clients’ needs.’

Elsewhere, HFW has welcomed new partner Simon Billing to its Australian employment practice in Perth. Boasting over three decades of experience in both private and in-house practice, Billing represents clients in many industry sectors, including mining, oil & gas, shipping and construction, as well as telecommunications, hospitality, health and education.

Once a partner for six years at DLA, Billing has also served time at Corrs Chambers Westgarth and most recently, his own firm S Billing & Associates, from which he brings an existing team to HFW.

In Singapore, Ashurst has lost a number of energy projects and transactions lawyers to Baker Botts. The new practice will be lead by Richard Guit, who will be accompanied by partners Daniel Reinbott, Michael Harrison and Lewis Jones, as well as special counsel Jessica Ham and Giles Ashman. The news of Baker’s new Singapore practice is the latest installment in the American firm’s Asia Pacific story, having shut its offices in Beijing and Hong Kong in 2020 and 2021.

The new team will provide a full service in the energy and resources sector, covering customary practice areas such as oil & gas and commodities to newly developing fields in renewable energy such as low-carbon hydrogen, CO2 liquefaction and cross-border renewable imports.