Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: International hires continue as firms increase Asia focus

Maintaining the international flavour of recent lateral hiring activity, Clifford Chance, Kirkland & Ellis, RPC and Reed Smith have all announced hires overseas this past week.

In Asia, G100 heavyweight Kirkland has strengthened its Hong Kong capital markets practice with the hire of partner Mengyu Lu, who arrives from Sidley Austin. Lu’s expertise lies in advising on IPOs, M&A and post-listing compliance matters. David Zhang, a partner in Kirkland’s Asia corporate group, described Lu as a ‘rising star’. He added: ‘We are confident that she will bolster our market-leading capital markets practice in Asia.’

Also in Hong Kong, RPC has appointed a new head of its employment practice in the form of partner Andrea Randall. Randall was previously a partner at boutique Hong Kong dispute resolution firm Gall Solicitors. She specialises in complex contentious and non-contentious employment matters for both employers and employees.

RPC managing partner for Asia, Antony Sassi, said: ‘Employment is a new practice area for us in Hong Kong but an obvious one that strategically makes sense given the strength of the team in the UK, our capability in Singapore and the ability to plug a lawyer with Andrea’s impressive credentials into our institutional clients here in the region.’

Reed Smith has made a significant set of additions to its Singapore roster, hiring two partners from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner (BCLP) alongside four other lawyers. Manoj Purushothaman will be a partner in the firm’s global corporate team, while partner Simon Spells will bolster the transportation industry group.

Purushothaman acted as BCLP’s head of corporate in Singapore, and has over 15 years’ experience in cross-border M&A and private equity matters. Spells advises financial institutions, leasing companies, airlines and manufacturers on a range of international asset, structured finance and leasing transactions.

Meanwhile in Australia, Clyde & Co has hired partner Patrick Boardman to add to its insurance team in Sydney. Boardman spent 16 years at Australian national firm Wotton + Kearney, where he predominantly focused on coverage and defence work in financial lines insurance.

Lucinda Lyons, partner and Clyde’s head of insurance in Australia, described Boardman as ‘one of the most prominent and senior financial lines insurance lawyers’, and said the hire ‘underlines our position as the clear leaders in insurance in Australia and further afield.’

Elsewhere, Clifford Chance has sought to strengthen its US regulatory bench with the hire of Renée Latour as a partner from Greenberg Traurig. Latour, who will be based in the Magic Circle firm’s Washington DC outpost, focuses on international trade regulation and compliance, with an emphasis on US export controls and economic sanctions.

Co-head of CC’s global risk team, David DiBari, asserted that the firm will ‘expect her to take a leadership role in the continued growth of the international trade controls and national security practice.’

Quinn Emanuel Urquhart & Sullivan has also recruited in its home market, hiring veteran litigator Anthony Bongiorno from McDermott, Will, & Emery as a partner. Bongiorno, who acted as partner-in-charge of McDermott’s Boston office, has extensive experience in mass torts, product liability defence and complex commercial litigation related to the healthcare sector.

There have been some key hires on the home front too. Kingsley Napley has expanded its muscular dispute resolution credentials with the hire of Michael Mulligan as a partner. Mulligan, who arrives from Shakespeare Martineau, focuses his practice on contentious insolvency and commercial litigation.

Kingsley Napley’s head of dispute resolution, Richard Foss, praised Mulligan’s ‘great reputation in the market’ and said he is expected to bolster the firm’s fraud and asset recovery work.

Fried Frank has similarly sought to boost its London bench with the hire of experienced restructuring and insolvency partner Mandip Englund from Reed Smith. Typically, Englund represents financially challenged corporate borrowers, financial institutions, lenders, other creditors, distressed investors and insolvency estate representatives and practitioners.

Eric Scheler, partner and head of Fried Frank’s global restructuring and insolvency practice, called Englund ‘an extraordinary talent’ and insisted ‘her skillset and client relationships will integrate seamlessly with the multidisciplinary offerings we provide to clients of the firm.’

Finally, at the Bar, 39 Essex Chambers has recruited planning, commercial and public law expert Juan Lopez to its set. Joining from Francis Taylor Building, Lopez is ranked by The Legal 500 in its planning and agricultural categories, where he is also described as ‘very knowledgeable, concise, proactive and user friendly.’