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Revolving doors: Key City hires for Gibson Dunn and Bakers as Eversheds loses former planning head

Last week saw both international firms making strategic moves in the City and at a national level several key hires, with Gibson Dunn & Crutcher hiring from Kirkland & Ellis, Baker & McKenzie bolstering its tax offering with a recruit from EY, Howes Percival appointing a new head of planning from Eversheds and DWF turning in-house to build its national nuclear energy team.

Debt finance specialist Philip Crump has joined Gibson Dunn’s London office from Kirkland, teaming up with old colleague Stephen Gillespie, who joined Gibson from Kirkland in December 2014 and now serves as co-chair of the firm’s global finance practice group.

The latest exit from Kirkland, Crump has focused on multi-jurisdictional leveraged buyouts in Europe, particularly for private equity sponsors. Before moving to Kirkland in 2007, he was at Shearman & Sterling’s London office having joined from Russell McVeagh, a leading New Zealand law firm.

‘Philip is a superb technical lawyer, who is highly regarded by clients for his strong commercial sense,’ said Gillespie. ‘He has a broad and flexible finance practice that is well-suited to respond to the evolving European debt markets. His particular strengths in acquisition financings for LBOs, distressed and restructurings, and lending transactions for non-bank alternative asset managers are complementary to offerings of our London team.’

Meanwhile, Bakers has bolstered its London tax practice with the hire of principal tax-adviser Kate Alexander from Big Four accountancy firm EY where she was head of markets for the international tax services group. Her appointment in the partner-equivalent role follows the firm’s hire of EY partner Mark Bevington in November 2013.

Commenting on the hire, Baker’s London head of tax, Alex Chadwick said: ‘As with previous hires from the Big 4, Kate’s arrival significantly enhances our offering to large UK and multinational clients at a time when corporate tax has never been more prominent on the board agenda.’

Outside of the City, Howes Percival has appointed Eversheds’ Paul Wootton as partner and head of the firm’s planning team. Wootton, who was head of Eversheds’ planning and energy and natural resources teams, has advised on some of the largest regeneration projects in the UK, including the London Development Agency regarding the Olympics and the Covent Garden Market Authority on the redevelopment of the Nine Elms area.

Finally, the expansive DWF has looked in-house for another hire this week, recruiting EnergySolutions’ former general counsel (GC) and company secretary Simon Stuttaford as partner in the firm’s nuclear energy offering. In his role as GC Stuttaford worked on a number of high profile projects across the UK and Europe including decommissioning nuclear sites, transporting nuclear material and cleaning-up legacy nuclear installations.

Commenting on his new role, Stuttaford said: ‘DWF has a cutting-edge energy team that is making a real impact in the sector, and their strong client base and ongoing investment in the team has positioned them for further growth. I look forward to seeing how we can deepen relationships with existing clients and further develop the services we can provide.’