Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Keystone maintains hiring spree as finance partners move between US firms in the City

UK-listed firm Keystone Law has continued its summer run of partner recruitment, adding three more to its roster in the past week.

Sandra Bates and Yohanna Weber joined the firm in late August as lateral hires from Fladgate and Fieldfisher respectively, while at the same time Alex Heaton, who was a counsel at Reed Smith and has over 20 years’ experience as a commercial property lawyer, has also joined Keystone as partner.

Bates is a corporate specialist who advises on cross-border corporate transactions, particularly those involving Africa, Canada or the US. Her expertise includes advising on IPOs and equity capital markets transactions, mergers and acquisitions, reverse takeovers, strategic investments and joint ventures, particularly in the mining, oil and gas, and technology sectors.

Weber is a planning and environmental law expert with a focus on infrastructure, conventional and renewable energy development, major/mixed-use schemes and urban regeneration. She is also highly experienced in the promotion of development consent orders, Transport and Works Act orders, major/multi-authority planning applications and compulsory purchase orders.

These three appointments follow the move earlier in August to appoint 15 new partners, 10 of which were lateral hires. James Knight, CEO and Founder of Keystone Law, said: ‘Sandra, Alex and Yohanna are excellent examples of high-calibre lawyers who are attracted to Keystone for the levels of freedom and autonomy we can provide.’

In the City, Greenberg Traurig has tempted across a partner from another US firm, Dorsey & Whitney, in the form of restructuring specialist Helena Nathanson. Nathanson was formerly joint head of banking for Dorsey and head of the European corporate trust group at Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner.

Nathanson, who becomes a shareholder at Greenberg, has represented the majority of the corporate trust houses in London in connection with a wide variety of transactions, including numerous high yield bond issuances, exchange traded products platforms, asset backed commercial paper programmes and many defaulting securitisations with varying underlying assets.

‘She is not only highly regarded in London, with a strong client following, but has historically worked extensively with Greenberg Traurig shareholders across the United States – particularly in the bankruptcy and restructuring areas,’ said Greenberg executive chairman Richard Rosenbaum. ‘She has a resilient practice consistent with GT colleagues.’

Meanwhile, Shearman & Sterling has bolstered its London ranks with the hire of Latham & Watkins leveraged finance partner Gary Hamp. Hamp will join Shearman and relocate from Hong Kong, where he has been based for more than ten years. He joined Latham in 2016 from Hogan Lovells, where he was its head of banking for the region and one of the most respected finance partners in Asia.

Elsewhere, recognised Africa practice leader Paul Bugingo has joined New York-headquartered international firm Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle in Dubai.

Bugingo was partner and co-chair of the Africa practice at Simmons & Simmons based in Dubai. He has spent over 20 years advising governments, state-owned corporations and investors on large-scale energy and infrastructure projects across  Africa, including in Uganda, Kenya, Rwanda, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Somaliland, Djibouti, Nigeria, Ghana, South Africa, Botswana, Swaziland and Lesotho. He was also responsible for leading the Africa practice at Dentons.

Finally, media-focused firm Wiggin has made a significant hire from in-house, recruiting Associated Newspapers deputy head of editorial legal, Julian Darrall, as a litigation partner. Darrall joins the firm after ten years at Associated Newspapers (the publishers of the Daily Mail, Mail on Sunday, Mail Online, Metro and The i) where he was responsible for advising on all legal and regulatory issues. He also becomes managing director of specialist content practice Reviewed and Cleared. Prior to working for the Mail group, Darrall spent seven years with RPC’s media litigation team, working for clients including newspapers, book publishers, broadcasters, and media insurers across issues such as libel, privacy, intellectual property and data protection, and he spent time with the Guardian and Hiscox Insurers.