Legal Business Blogs

Revolving doors: Keystone makes partner group hire as Morgan Lewis builds in City

In another batch of strategic recruitment, Keystone Law’s flexible working model has attracted ten new partners, the firm has announced.

The new hires include five corporate specialists: Michael Holter, who counts aviation and e-commerce companies among his clients, and Rupert Weber, who has expertise in investments into and from Africa, arrived from McDermott Will & Emery; Keith Gilbert from Freeths, and Paul Toolan and Stephen Fuller from Ince. Additions in the real estate space include hospitality sector expert Ed John from Howard Kennedy, Amanda Lloyd from Penningtons Manches Cooper, and Minesh Patel from stevensdrake. Private client partner Simon Mackie joined from Irwin Mitchell and insurance expert Ruth Hite arrived from Berkshire Hathaway Specialty Insurance. These additions follow a dozen partner level hires in January

CEO and founder James Knight said: ‘The on/off lockdown of the past two years has convinced lawyers that when equipped with the right tools and technology, they can deliver a high-quality legal service away from the conventional office space. Furthermore, lawyers are increasingly seeking the greater flexibility and other advantages offered by Keystone, and we continue to attract the highest-quality candidates, as our latest new joiners demonstrate.’

Morgan Lewis continues to build its structured transactions team with the addition of Richard Hanson from Orrick in London. His arrival follows that of Merryn Craske in the City from Mayer Brown in March and Steven Becker and Alex Velinsky who joined in New York and Washington DC respectively from Hunton Andrews Kurth in April.

Commenting on the move, Hanson told Legal Business: ‘Morgan Lewis’s stellar reputation in both structured transactions and private investment funds-related matters as well as its global platform were hugely appealing to me. The culture of the firm also presents a great deal of opportunity to collaborate and cross-sell with colleagues around the globe to provide an appealing proposition to investment funds and asset managers that are looking to use structured credit solutions to eg diversify their financing sources.’

Reed Smith has landed the addition of corporate partner Milan Thakker from pharma giant Novartis. Thakker, who has previously spent time at Shearman & Sterling in London and at Stephenson Harwood in London and Hong Kong, brings experience in cross-border M&A, private equity and venture capital transactions and a life sciences sector specialism.

Dentons has appointed James Batham as a clients and markets partner, a role created in 2021 by CEO Paul Jarvis to reinforce the firm’s client-centric focus. Batham, who joined from Eversheds Sutherland where he led the global retail and consumer sector team, will work alongside existing clients and markets partner Martin Fanning.

Meanwhile, Eversheds Sutherland has welcomed real estate litigation expert Rashpal Soomal from Bryan Cave Leighton Paisner. She has a breadth of experience advising high-profile developers and investment banks in disputes including right to light matters.

Finally, disputes boutique ONTIER, which is building a reputation for Bitcoin-related litigation, has hired financial services and technology sector disputes partner Aoife Keane from Seddons Solicitors.