Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Key hires for Mayer Brown, Sullivan & Worcester, Harbottle, DWF, Irwin Mitchell and Burness Paull

Mayer Brown is continuing to beef up its City offering with its seventh partner hire in two months, as Allen & Overy (A&O) employment and benefits partner Stefan Martin joins the firm, the top 25 Global 100 firm announced last week.

The appointment of Martin – who joined A&O in 1992 and has been a partner at the Magic Circle firm for 13 years, having spent most of his career advising financial institutions and corporates on employment issues – comes as Mayer Brown recently revamped its international strategy, re-grouping around its large international clients and naming London as one of five global sites on which to focus much of its energies alongside Washington D.C, New York, Chicago and Hong Kong.

Also boosting its London capability is Boston-headquartered Sullivan & Worcester, which has made a significant double hire to its City finance team of former Squire Sanders acquisition partner Mark Norris and Dentons trade finance partner Simon Cook.

A former Clifford Chance and Simmons & Simmons lawyer, Norris advises on acquisition finance, structured export credit finance, structured trade and commodity finance in emerging markets, which includes financings in Africa and Europe.

Meanwhile Cook is known for his expertise in structured finance, trade and commodities finance, project finance, receivables finance and borrowing-base facilities in Africa, the Middle East and the CIS, with the UK Legal 500, 2013 describing him as a ‘great project manager’ who ‘gets the job done.’

Elsewhere, Vodafone’s chief of legal, consumer services and terminals Daniel Tozer has made the move back to private practice, joining West End TMT boutique Harbottle & Lewis after nine years at the telecoms giant.

In 2009, Tozer became head of the team providing legal support to Vodafone’s global terminals function, handling the contractual relationships with Vodafone’s mobile handset suppliers such as Apple, RIM, BlackBerry, HTC and Samsung, as well as operating system suppliers such as Microsoft and Google. He notably acted as key legal advisor in the negotiations which brought the iPhone and iPad to Vodafone UK and across the world.

Harbottle’s managing partner Glen Atchison said: ‘Daniel is passionate about helping businesses to create, implement, launch and deliver innovative products and services. Whilst at Vodafone he led on the legal aspects of many of its most business-critical commercial transactions, gaining a level of practical experience that will bring real value to many of our clients and make him an excellent addition to the firm.’

His move comes as expansive UK top-25 firm DWF has also appointed former Trowers & Hamlins local government laws commercial contracts and public procurement partner Michael Mousdale to its Manchester office, bolstering its national commercial team.

Just last month the 984-lawyer firm acquired a 50-strong team from insurance specialist firm Greenwoods, following objections from Aviva that Greenwoods recent merger with Plexus Law may compromise the teams’ work for the insurance giant, which it counts as its main client.

Across the Scottish border and Burness Paull has poached two pensions partners, Martha Quinn and Mark Lindsay, from fellow Scots firm Brodies, who join as consultant and director respectively in the pensions team.

Having formerly worked in the City at Berwin Leighton Paisner, legacy Norton Rose and Wragge & Co, Quinn has been involved in some of the largest public sector, insurance and utilities transactions in the UK, while dual-qualified Lindsay was previously at City firms Slaughter and May and Stephenson Harwood.

Head of the pensions team Sarah Phillips said: ‘These two senior appointments coincide with a period of significant growth for the Burness Paull’s pensions team. We have expanded in Aberdeen with instructions from high profile oil & gas clients and achieved further growth in advising on a string of asset backed funding, M&A/restructuring and banking transactions, pensions litigation, and general company and trustee pensions advice. Our trustee company, Burness Paull Pension Trustees Limited, has seen its mandates double in the past year.’