Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Kirkland hires ESG partner while magic circle experiences both losses and gains

Leading the high-profile moves this week, Rebecca Perlman has joined Kirkland & Ellis’ ESG and impact practice group in London as a partner. Perlman leaves behind a 12-year tenure at Herbert Smith Freehills, where she was head of the firm’s UK, US, and EMEA operations and global head of sustainable and impact investment.

Perlman brings with her more than a decade of expertise in advising clients on a range of ESG-related matters, including regulatory compliance, soft law standards, voluntary frameworks, ESG market disclosure, reporting, and issues concerning accredited organisations.

Elsewhere in the City, Ashurst has bolstered its disputes and investigations offering with the hire of white-collar partner Judith Seddon from Dechert. Recognised as a Legal 500 Hall of Famer, Seddon advises corporate clients, including senior executives and leading financial institutions, in some of the most significant and complex investigations mounted by the SFO and FCA in the UK and by prosecuting authorities across the globe. She has previously served as a partner at Ropes & Gray and Clifford Chance.

Taylor Wessing has added investment funds partner Shervin Shameli to its London private equity and fund formation team. Shameli arrives from Reed Smith, where he served for three and a half years, notably co-heading the firm’s London private funds formation group. With close to two decades of experience, Shameli has experience in the management of investment funds and his expertise spans from advising first-time funds to second/third vintage funds, co-investments, spinouts, and joint ventures.

Commenting on his move, he said: ‘It’s really just the scope of opportunity here. My client base on the formation side has a bigger tilt to European managers and Taylor Wessing has an incredibly strong mid-market private equity practice and an exceptionally strong venture practice as well. I have my own clients within those spaces, and it had a much clearer vision for me in terms of working with those teams to grow those opportunities. It’s both about my existing clients and looking to introduce and connect those clients on the funds formation side, and vice versa, exploring opportunities and contacts the other way around.’

Also in London, Mayer Brown has strengthened its global energy group with the hire of energy and infrastructure partner Massimo Amoruso from Clifford Chance, marking yet another exit from the magic circle to a major US player. His expertise includes advising on complex project development and financing to a wide range of clients globally, including major corporates, financial sponsors, and institutions across Europe, Asia, and the Middle East.

On his decision to join, he explained: ‘There were three reasons. Firstly, there is a complete alignment with the vision of what a law firm should be – providing excellent client service with collaboration internally. It’s a key tenet to the firm’s strategy and it’s what I would say if you asked me in a vacuum. Secondly, the existing strengths that are adjacent/complimentary to my practice. Lastly, there is a commitment to continue investing in the energy practice which is a very good thing for me.’

Freshfields has strengthened its US strategy by hiring private equity M&A partners Neal Reenan and Ian Bushner in New York from Latham & Watkins. Reenan, with over 17 years at Kirkland & Ellis before joining Latham’s Chicago office in March 2020, will serve as global co-head of private capital. Bushner, a former Kirkland partner for six years, also joined Latham in March 2020 and will lead US private capital at his new firm.

While finalising its merger with Shearman & Sterling, A&O has lost a team of six intellectual property litigators to Paul Hastings in the US. Shamita Etienne-Cummings, Lisa Nguyen, Eric Lancaster, James Gagen, and Grace Wang have joined Paul Hastings as partners, with the sixth partner yet to be named, spanning across Palo Alto, New York, and Washington offices.

K&L Gates has also strengthened its IP practice in Charlotte with the hire of long-time Crowell & Moring partner Vincent Galluzzo where he served as co-chair of the firm’s trade secrets working group. He focuses his practice on high-tech patent and trade secret litigation, appeals, and software licensing disputes.

Over in Frankfurt, McDermott has welcomed two Ashurst partners Maximilian Uibeleisen and Benedikt von Schorlemer to its transaction practice group in Frankfurt. The duo brings with them a strong background in advising on project development and finance, M&A, and corporate reorganisation for both strategics and private equity funds, along with their portfolio companies across the energy and infrastructure space.

In Edinburgh, Shepherd and Wedderburn has bolstered its employment practice with the hire of partner Morag Hutchison from BurnessPaull. She brings with her experience advising clients across energy, house building, financial services and hospitality.

Hutchinson commented: ‘I did my training contract here 20 years ago. My key reason for joining was because the firm is strengthening and growing its employment team, and it’s a great opportunity to be back at the firm and be a part of that growth.’