Legal Business Blogs

Revolving Doors: Kirkland secures another Magic Circle head as US class action specialist launches Manchester boutique

Kirkland & Ellis has cemented its commitment to building its European infrastructure practice with its fourth magic circle hire in two months.

Clifford Chance’s co-head of infrastructure Toby Parkinson is the latest of the City elite to move to the US rival to bolster its infrastructure coverage. This follows the arrivals last month of Allen & Overy’s former global co-head of infrastructure, Sara Pickersgill, and infrastructure funds partners James Boswell and Paul Sampson from Clifford Chance and Allen & Overy, respectively.

According to Andrew Calder, energy sector corporate partner and member of the Kirkland’s executive committee, Parkinson is ‘another important piece of that puzzle’. A The Legal 500-ranked leading individual, he cumulatively spent more than 13 years at Clifford Chance, including two in Japan, and brings in-house expertise after a three-year stint at asset manager OMERS Infrastructure between 2016 and 2019.

Elsewhere in the City, IP and life sciences veteran Trevor Cook has returned to Bird & Bird after nine years at WilmerHale in New York. Cook, who previously spent nearly 40 years at the firm, returns as of counsel. Morag Macdonald, co-head of the international IP practice at Bird & Bird said: ‘The combination of the extensive younger talent we have in the group with Trevor’s years of experience is unbeatable.’

Meanwhile, DWF has added five partners after an EMEA hiring spree. In London, the firm recruited James Wilson from Howard Kennedy, a corporate partner with expertise in equity capital markets. In Northern Ireland, it added Meta associate general counsel for EMEA disputes, Olivia O’Kane, who returned to private practice after eight months at the tech giant. Also in Belfast, the firm hired corporate partner Scott Kennedy, who has experience advising early-stage technology companies, from Millar McCall Wylie.

In Edinburgh, construction partner Jonathan Gaskell, who was formerly a director at DWF, returned to the firm from Scottish firm MacRoberts. Meanwhile in the Middle East, Leopold Zentner arrived at the firm’s Riyadh office. Formerly a partner at Curtis, Mallet-Prevost, Colt & Mosle, Zentner most recently held the role of acting chief governance officer at Saudi Arabian industrial investments company Dussur.

In Manchester, a US class action specialist has launched a claimant-side litigation boutique, Lanier, Longstaff, Hedar & Roberts. The UK firm will be jointly led by Mark Lanier and Kevin Roberts, the respective founder and COO of Texas-based consumer claims practice The Lanier Law Firm, and barristers Tom Longstaff and Duncan Hedar, of Exchange Chambers in Manchester. The firm will handle product liability, pharmaceutical and competition claims.

Hedar, who was formerly a managing associate at Linklaters, told Legal Business: ‘Now is a pivotal moment for group litigation in the UK. For some time, group clams have lagged behind the US, but the process by which group claims can be brought as a matter of English law and the funding available for group litigation has meant that there’s a paradigm shift in the market. We think that there is an extraordinary opportunity because of the change in the market and to allow us to bring claims on behalf of individuals which we feel will make a real difference to their lives and allow us to do some real good.’

Meanwhile, in Yorkshire, Addleshaw Goddard has bolstered its global investigations practice with the hire of Harriet Territt in Leeds from Jones Day, while CMS added two real estate and construction partners, Helen Johnson and Helen Balliger, in Sheffield. Territt has over 20 years’ experience handling financial regulatory, investigations, compliance and disputes. Construction and engineering projects partner Johnson, and Balliger, who focuses on real estate investment and asset management, joined from Kennedys and DWF respectively.

Over the Irish Sea, Dentons has hired William Fry’s head of structured finance and securitisation and debt capital markets partner Matthew Cahill in Dublin. Cahill, who was previously a partner at Clifford Chance in London, advises on structured finance, securitisation, capital markets and derivative transactions. His arrival follows that of Siobhan Carlin, a general banking lawyer specialising in real estate investment, development finance and project finance, who joined from William Fry earlier this month.

Across the Atlantic, Clifford Chance has hired Fried Frank structured finance partner Darren Littlejohn in New York. CC’s global financial markets co-head Lee Askenazi said: ‘Darren’s appointment reflects our strategy to enhance our offerings in the derivatives space to meet the growing demand for top-level advice across structured products. He brings remarkable insight and experience that will surely add significant value to our team and clients in the US and around the globe.’

Elsewhere, Kevin Warburton has joined HFW in Hong Kong from Tanner De Witt. Warburton brings experience across international arbitration, commercial litigation, regulatory investigations and inquiries as well as cyber and privacy matters. He previously spent 13 years at Slaughter and May, across its London and Hong Kong offices.

Also in Asia Pacific, King & Spalding has hired technology transactions partner Damien Bailey from KPMG Law. The Sydney-based partner will advise on data, digital, technology and telecommunications transactions and will spend significant time in the firm’s Middle East, Singapore and Tokyo offices.

Finally, in Luxembourg, Dechert has hired funds partner Matthias Kerbusch from Clifford Chance, where he was counsel. He brings expertise in advising domestic and international clients on the formation and restructuring of a range of funds.